The Brand Park Beautification Committee was originally formed as a task force, by Harold and Winnie Watts in 1995, with the simple goal of making their community a better place to live.
“The task force was created to reinvigorate the north side of Brand Park, because it was in pretty bad shape for a while,” said Anthony Popkins, grandson of Harold and Winnie Watts and the current co-chair of the Brand Park Beautification Committee. “They put in new walkways, lampposts, benches, a pavilion that’s handicap-accessible, running water and the bandstand.”
Last year, the city unanimously voted to have the bandstand named after Harold and Winnie Watts, and the committee is currently working to get a plaque placed there this summer.
This summer, the committee hopes to increase participation and fundraising with several events.
“Having a good area for the community starts with the community,” said Popkin. “And that’s how we find fresh ideas. A lot of the people that were part of the Brand Park Beautification Committee I consider the ‘old guard.’ They’ve put 20-plus years of their time, money, sweat, and tears to make this a place, as we like to call it, the best kept secret in Elmira. So to keep that going, we need help from the community.”
On June 21, the committee will host the Brand Park Trust Charity Golf Tournament. Shotgun is at 1 p.m. at the Mark Twain Golf Course.
June 23 begins the weekly summer concert series. Every Sunday, local and regional bands will perform at Brand Park from 3 – 5 p.m. It’s free and open to the public.
The 25th Annual Old Tyme Summer Festival will be held on August 18 from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. The event will feature live music, blow-up slides, vendors, food, and the “Classic Car Show.”
For more details on all the events, click here.