We have some news from Raleigh's Pullen Park.
First, Raleigh's summer concert series will take a turn at Pullen at 6 p.m., Sunday, featuring show tunes, concert marches and traditional band music from The Village Band. The concert is free and open to the public. Bring chairs, blankets and picnic baskets ... or pick up dinner from Pullen Cafe. No alcohol.
Also, the park has two watercolor classes for kids on Saturday. Kids 6 to 11 will can meet at the Garden Terrace from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. or noon to 2 p.m. for the program. Using the park's scenery, kids will learn to draw and paint with watercolors. Contact the art center at 919-996-6126 for details and to register. It's $12 per child.
The carousel as some new music, which starts playing today through July. The new band organ roll for the Wurlitzer plays patriotic music - just in time for July 4. The carousel ride operators rotate between the Wurlitzer organ and mp3 carousel music throughout the day. If a park guest wants to hear the the band organ, I'm told they are more than welcome to ask for it to be played.
And finally, the park's rides are open daily from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Richard Costello, the city's recreation program director, tells me that the crowd disperses around 7 p.m. The parking lots are not as crowded and there are less wait times on the rides.
"The last two hours of the day are wonderful at Pullen," he said in an email.
The city also is making some changes to parking ... because if you've been to Pullen since the park reopened in November, you will know that it can be very tight.
Pullen Aquatic Center and Pullen Community Center will now be using a parking permit process to make sure people have access to those facilities. Parking permits will be issued to community center and aquatics participants for the duration of their class, program, pass or rental. Permits will be required during normal operating hours and for all after hours events at each facility.
Signs will be placed at the entrance of each parking lot to indicate that a permit is required. You can get your permit from the Pullen Aquatics front desk for activities such as swim lessons there, for instance, and from the Pullen Community Center for community center participation.
If you're headed to Pullen Park for the playground and rides and the lot is full, additional parking is available on the weekends at Cates Avenue Parking Deck on the N.C. State campus. Park visitors may use pedestrian walkways from the deck to access Pullen Park.
During the week, overflow parking is available until 5 p.m. at the Hunt Drive Soccer Fields on the Dorthea Dix campus. City code does not allow park visitors to park along Western Boulevard.