Super Hero Party celebrates the hero in everyone
Some heroes wear masks and capes and fly through the air with outstretched arms, while others sport uniforms and drive rescue vehicles.
Heroes of both ilks will be celebrated on Friday, Feb. 23, at Hagerstown Community College’s Athletic, Recreation and Community Center at Super Hero Party 2018. Washington County Recreation Department will host the sixth annual event.
Recreation Director Jaime Dick said the event started off focusing mainly on superheroes of the imaginary variety. The recreation department had hosted a successful princess party and decided to build on the success of that.
“We were just trying to be diverse with our programming,” Dick said. “You know, kids definitely like superheroes in regards to the stuff they see on TV. We see a lot of Spider-Man, Captain America, Batman and Robin, Power Rangers is a big thing. Girls come as Wonder Woman. We get all the traditional ones and all the 21st-century ones. They dress up and they love it.”
Along with imaginary characters, organizers decided to invite some real-life heroes from the local community, Dick said.
“That first year, we had the fire department. The next year, as added the sheriff's department,” he said. “Then we added in the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. We got a lot of cool equipment they use on the Potomac River for river rescue and the four-wheelers they use on game lands. Kids love it.”
Each of the departments brings equipment and vehicles and uses the party as an opportunity for outreach and public awareness. Brian Albert with the Department of Natural Resources serves on the board of directors for the recreation department, Dick said, and suggested the new cooperative effort.
“It kind of started evolving and turned out great. It makes it a real community event,” he said. “They’ve got their water safety boats. Last year it was awesome. People spend a lot of time on the river for recreation in this community. It’s really cool for kids at a young age to see what they do.”
Each year, the Super Hero Party draws nearly 300 people. Dick attributes the success of the event in part to its affordability.
“It’s a very affordable evening out compared to movies or something. Kids get to dress up, come to different stations. There are things for them to do and to be a part of,” he said. “It’s quality entertainment for a fraction of the cost of taking a family to see a movie.”
Children will receive “hero bags” with items to be used at activity stations, which include a bat cave, sand art, temporary superhero tattoos, a moon bounce, scooters and magic shows.
A parade of superheroes is usually a crowd favorite, Dick said. Sometimes even parents come in costume.
“A couple of moms and dads dress up,” he said. “Everybody is a superhero at heart. That’s what makes it such a fun family event. It makes us feel good. It’s an event that people look forward to and that’s great.”
Top photo: Michael Snyder of Hagerstown races around on a scooter dressed as a Power Ranger at the 2016 Superhero Party at Hagerstown Community College’s Athletic, Recreation and Community Center. (File photo)