On Aug. 18, Rainier Playfield and Community Center was filled with hundreds of families and community members shooting hoops, showing off their pickleball skills, dancing to hip hop, getting their heart pumping with Zumba, rock climbing, bouncing on inflatables, running in sack races, watching cultural performances, and much more! All of these fun health and physical fitness activities were part of Seattle Parks and Recreation’s Big Day of Play, our annual, signature event dedicated to celebrating Seattle’s diversity and encouraging neighbors, communities and families to have fun, build relationships and be active together. The Big Day of Play also featured a variety of water activities for community members to try at the Mount Baker Rowing and Sailing Center, including stand up paddle boarding, rowing and sailing.
At Seattle Parks and Recreation, our mission is to support Healthy People, a Healthy Environment, and Strong Communities. The Big Day of Play not only encourages community members to get moving and connect with neighbors, it also strives to be a zero-waste event. This year, the event featured recycling and compost stations and groups of volunteers who helped educate the public about the benefits of composting. Big Day of Play also featured 68 activity booths hosted by a variety of community partners, such as Seattle Police, National Wildlife Federation, and Somali Health Board, who provided free activities as well as health, wellness, safety and other information to community members.
The Big Day of Play could not happen without our amazing Seattle Parks and Recreation volunteers and staff. Thank you to the 55 community members who volunteered 482 hours to support the event on Aug. 18 and to the 141 Seattle Parks and Recreation staff members who volunteered 1,857 hours! Volunteers helped ensure field activities ran smoothly, greeted and directed guests, encouraged participants to recycle, assisted at the first aid station, and more. Big Day of Play is all about celebrating diversity, and the event could also not have happened without dedicated outreach and engagement efforts to reach diverse communities. This year, event organizers and volunteers translated promotional materials into eight languages (Amharic, Simplified Chinese, Romanian, Oromo, Spanish, Tagalog, Tigrinya and Vietnamese), advertised with ethnic media outlets, and conducted two days of on-the-ground community outreach in the Rainier neighborhood, visiting local business, community organizations, and neighbors to ensure that people of all backgrounds were informed about the event and felt welcomed and safe participating.
2018 marks the 11th year that Seattle Parks and Recreation has hosted the Big Day of Play, and the third year the event has been presented by Seattle Parks and Recreation’s Get Moving Initiative and taken place in south Seattle. Learn more about the Get Moving Initiative and other opportunities to participate in culturally relevant events and projects throughout the year here.