Brooklyn Park celebrates its 3rd annual Pumphrey Community Day


When 64-year-old Ruth Hopson arrived for the third annual Pumphrey Community Day on Saturday, she expected a parade, demonstrations, food booths and games.

What she didn't expect was an impromptu reunion with friends she hadn't seen in decades.

"I haven't seen some of these people in 40-something years," said the Odenton resident, who attended Pumphrey Elementary School, now the community center, in the 1930s.

Sitting on a bench watching the Pumphrey pom-pom girls perform, Ms. Hopson said she had run into Pumphrey resident Delores Hines, an old friend from elementary- and high-school whom she hadn't seen in four decades.

"I was surprised. I couldn't believe it when I saw her," Ms. Hines said.

Pumphrey Day, a celebration where past and present members of the community get together to eat, socialize and play a few games, attracted about 400 people under Saturday's sunny skies. The celebration, held on the grounds of the Lloyd Keiser Community Center, had been rescheduled from the previous Saturday because of rain.

A parade, which ran from Belle Grove Road to School Lane, kicked off the day's events at 10 a.m. with about 150 participants representing six groups, including the Pumphreys War Veterans, the Brooklyn Park Fire Engine and Rescue Squad and the Cherrettes Marching Band.

"Everybody was so enthused about the parade," said Yolande Dickerson, chairman of the seven-hour event. "It's a time when community spirit is generated."

After the 40-minute parade, a queen -- Andrea Martin, of Pumphrey -- and a king -- Kevin Spencer, also of Pumphrey -- were crowned at the opening ceremonies at noon.

Next, the Pumphrey pom-poms and Cherrettes marching band performed. And between performances, many people snatched up various kinds of food, talked about old times and bought T-shirts, jewelry and souvenirs from booths which were set up both in and outside the center. Some people even played a horse shoes.

Other displays included a senior-citizens exhibit, a voters registration booth, a table showing Drug Abuse Resistance Education, DARE, materials of the Anne Arundel County Police Department and two health stands.

Nine-year-old Justin Marcus gave the crowd a 20-minute karate demonstration. A modern dance performance, an auction, dance contest and softball game rounded out the day's activities.

Julius Little of Pumphrey said the annual festivities give families, who have lived for generations in the the small North County community, a reason to get together. And it gives families who have moved away a reason to come back.

"It's like a homecoming," he said. "They all want to come back home and see how the community has grown."

William Daywalt Jr., a DARE instructor, watched generations of families walk around the grounds. "I saw parents coming with their children and grandchildren," Mr. Daywalt said.

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