E.C. Lawrence Park Celebrates 25th Anniversary

E.C. Lawrence Park Celebrates 25th Anniversary

Ellanor C. Lawrence Park celebrated its 25th anniversary last Saturday in recognition of the historical significance of the park and in honor of the first inhabitants of the site.

There were numerous fun-filled activities for the families to keep themselves busy, including woodworking, gardening, churning butter, face painting, and even petting farm animals.

Of the many activities the families participated in, viewing and petting the farm animals seemed to be the most popular among the youngsters. Goats, sheep, and chickens were brought from Frying Farm Park, located in Herndon, for this particular event.

“I got to pet the real animals,” said Nicholas Velis. “I liked the goats the best.”

Besides the farm animals, snakes, turtles, and frogs were also on display. Many of the children, like David Rudo, expressed their excitement in seeing the reptiles.

“We saw the frog jump and he went slap, slap, slap,” said David.

Although viewing the animals seemed to be the main attraction, learning how to churn butter the old-fashioned way was also quite popular. A large crowd gathered around to try their hand at making butter and to taste their creation.

“The butter was sweet and creamy,” said Maddie Young. “It was delicious!”

Other demonstrations included woodworking and learning how to play an outdoor colonial game. Ken Garlem, the Civil War re-enactor dressed in full period costume, demonstrated how to make shingles and use a shaving horse.

“The shaving horse was used to make chairs, handles, and wooden pegs,” said Garlem.

Gwen O’Brien, a Fairfax County Park Authority staff member, also helped out with many of the day’s activities. This young lady demonstrated an outdoor colonial game that inhabitants used to play on the farm.

“You try to keep the hoop rolling for as along as possible with the stick until it falls,” said O’Brien. “It’s actually a lot harder than it looks.”

Families were also able to plant vegetables in the garden. There was a dazzling array of beautiful plants, such as germander and sweet basil, surrounding the garden where the families could plant new seeds. Theresa Deflurri, another Fairfax County Park Authority staff member, taught the children how to plant corn, squash, and beans.

While many of the families participated in the many activities that were available, others simply came to the park to enjoy the pleasant weather and have a picnic. The Pfohl family relaxed under the canopy of a tree, while munching on homemade sandwiches.

“I read about the event so I came out here,” said Lisa Pfohl. “But, my family usually comes out here for picnics on the weekends.”

Holding the anniversary event was not only educational, but it also encouraged bonding and interaction between family members.

“My family and I love history,” said Anne Young. “We live in Haymarket, but we still enjoy coming out here.”