Family Fun Day at Carousel Park, set for Saturday and always one of New Castle County’s most popular summer events, is expanding with a Food Truck Festival.
And a touch of Pokemon.
Admission is free for the noon-to-5 p.m. event Aug. 13 at the park along Limestone Road (Del. 7) in Pike Creek. Raindate is Saturday, Aug. 20.
For Pokemon fans, two popular characters -- Pikachu and Charmander -- will be wandering the grounds most of the day and posing for photos with guests of all ages, without anyone needing a cellphone to track them down. Also, guests are invited to search the park for more than nine Pokemon stops and two gyms.
“Family Fun Day is always a great event and a lot of families make their own tradition of returning every year,” County Executive Thomas P. Gordon said. “It’s a great opportunity to visit one of my favorite county parks, a real gem and the proud home of the many Clydesdale horses that serve our community as the New Castle County Police Mounted Patrol Unit -- and keeping with the park theme, everyone will get to try their hand at horseshoes.”
Gordon, who will welcome guests in a brief ceremony at 12:30 p.m., said the county arranged to add the Food Truck Festival to Family Fun Day after its earlier cancellation. The food truck gathering was to be held July 30 with Dancing in the Park at Glasgow Park, but the safety hazard of thunderstorms and lightning that day forced that event’s cancellation. Eighteen food trucks now are registered for Saturday’s Family Fun Day.
“The food trucks will be the only thing that families will want to bring money for because everything else is free, thanks to our county executive, county funding and support from sponsors that range from New Castle County Council to private individuals,” said Sophia Hanson, general manager of the Department of Community Services, hosting the event.
A DJ will be playing family-friendly -- and danceable -- music throughout the afternoon, she said.
The New Castle County Police Mounted Patrol Unit demonstrate its skills at 1 p.m. The New Castle County Police K-9 Unit will give a demonstration at 2 p.m.
Performances include the popular Jungle John’s Jurassic Show from 1 to 2 p.m. with dinosaur facts, fun and “Dolly the T-Rex.” A Magic Bob Show will follow at 3 p.m.
Hayrides will run from noon to 4 p.m. to the Carousel Park Kids Corral, the Western-theme park’s home to a variety of approachable animals from swans to alpaca. The Kids Corral will host a special Family Fun Day scavenger hunt. Guests also will be able to see new baby goat twins, just born in April.
All-free activities include face-painting, photo booth, moon bounce, make-and-take kids’ crafts and inflatable obstacle course. In addition to horseshoes, games will include hula hoops and flying discs.
Pikachu and Charmander will poke around the park 2 to 5 p.m., posing for pictures with guests who would like to take them.
Bump-and-play bubble soccer also will run 2-5 p.m.
Family Fun Day also offers an afternoon of catch-and-release fishing at the park’s well-stocked Enchanted Lake, where there will be instructional casting practice.
Those who would like to fish are asked to bring their own rods, bait, fishing licenses and lucky fishing hats. (State law requires fishing licenses for ages 16-64, but not for younger fishers accompanied by licensed ones. Delaware residents 65+ are exempt with photo ID and proof of age, but out-of-state seniors still must get licenses.)
For their safety and that of other guests, county officials ask those attending Family Fun Day not to bring family pets.
For GPS, the park address is 3700 Limestone Road, Wilmington, DE 19808. The 217-acre park is open daily, dawn to dusk, with free admission, including the Kids Corral, Carousel Bark Park and miles of tranquil walking and riding trails. Carousel Park Farmers Market is open 2-7 p.m. Fridays through October.
Among the park’s many other offerings are pony rides, horseback riding and therapeutic riding lessons.
For more information about riding, other programs or events including rental for private pony-ride parties or other events, visit nccde.org/carousel or call Administrator Regina Marini at (302) 995-7670.