7th Annual Park After Dark Arrives Sept. 16 in Potomac

7th Annual Park After Dark Arrives Sept. 16 in Potomac

Fundraiser supports C&O National Historic Park.

The Charles F. Mercer canal boat.

The Charles F. Mercer canal boat. Photo contributed


The 7th annual Park After Dark fundraiser will be held Sept. 16.


Crowds fill the tent at a previous Park After Dark event.

Get ready, Potomac, for the 7th annual Park After Dark, held in the natural splendor of the C&O National Historic Park. The evening is a rare opportunity to glimpse the lights of candleliers that lead to the Historic Tavern of the C&O Canal Park and to catch the glow of a fire crackling in the night, listen to the sounds of lively music from the 19th Street Band and meet and greet old and new friends. Included in the admission price is cuisine by Corcoran Caterers, libations, desserts, the presentation of awards, a silent and live auction, night hikes to Great Falls Overlook, and a campfire with s'mores.

“Cheers to Ten Years” will celebrate the dedicated support that the C&O Canal Trust has given to the C&O Canal National Historic Park. The benefit will be held on Sept. 16 from 6-10 p.m.

Ten years ago, the C&O Canal Trust partnered with the C&O Canal NHP to raise funds to preserve the park for future generations and to broaden support through programs that highlight the park’s historical, natural, and cultural heritage and recreational opportunities. Last year, the C&O Canal Trust raised $94,000 at this event. The proceeds support the preservation programs of the NHP, which hosts nearly five million visitors each year along its 184.5-mile length.

The C&O Canal Trust’s funding priorities this year are “Towpath Forever,” making certain that the towpath will be maintained for perpetuity and “Canal Classrooms” which provides exposure to outdoor education programs along the canal to thousands of students.

“Park After Dark is a unique opportunity for Park lovers to come together in a picturesque setting under the stars to raise money for the C&O Canal,” Director of Marketing and Communications Heidi Schlag said. “This year, we will raise money for the park's Canal Classrooms program, which provides hands-on learning opportunities in science, technology, engineering, art, and math concepts using the natural, historical, and cultural resources of the park."

During the event, the William O. Douglas Stewardship Award will be presented to the Bernstein Family Foundation in honor of their enduring commitment to the C&O Canal and The Canal Pride Award for Volunteer Service will be presented to C&O Canal Trust volunteer Jim Heins.

Schlag said, "Park After Dark is always a highlight of the year.” Tickets are $200 per person. All but $50 of the ticket price is a tax-deductible donation to the C&O Canal Trust. Tickets are available at www.ParkAfterDark.org.