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From the Mayor's Desk

San Diego Parks After Dark Returns

Free summer fun program for families adds 5th location

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The Parks After Dark summer program, which offers a series of free, outdoor, multicultural, multigenerational celebrations, is expanding with the addition of a fifth location this year.

The San Diego Parks Foundation, the City of San Diego, the County of San Diego, and Price Philanthropies announce the launch of the 3rd annual Parks after Dark summer program at five parks City of San Diego parks: City Heights, Linda Vista, Memorial, and Skyline Hills from June 20 through August 17, and, for the first time, Silver Wing from June 20 to July 27.

During the summer program, every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., Parks After Dark provides families in San Diego communities with free outdoor music, theatre, movies, arts and crafts, games, sports clinics, tournaments, resources from community-based organizations, and free food for children.

“Parks After Dark brings neighbors together and helps keep neighborhoods safe by activating our public parks with community events,” said Mayor Todd Gloria. “We’re so grateful to the County, the San Diego Parks Foundation, and Price Philanthropies for partnering with the City again this year to help bring our parks to life with free, fun summer events for all of us.” 

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“This creative program is a great opportunity for people to engage more with their families and neighbors in a fun, friendly and welcoming environment,” said Nora Vargas, Chairwoman of the San Diego County Board of Supervisors. “Parks After Dark helps our communities to thrive by increasing access to recreational green spaces and by providing a way for families and youth to bond and build community.”

Modeled after a successful Los Angeles program that started at three parks in 2010, Parks After Dark is designed to create social cohesion and reduce crime by creating safe spaces in public parks for communities to gather and play on summer nights. Data from the Los Angeles program indicated a 32 percent decrease in serious and violent crimes between 2009 and 2013 in the program’s three initial park communities. 

“Parks After Dark is a valuable program for city residents. I am excited that this summer program will be accessible at two parks in District 8 this year, Memorial Recreation Center and Silver Wing Recreation Center,” said Councilmember Vivian Moreno. “It is a priority of mine to make sure that families have access to active and free recreation opportunities in all neighborhoods.”

The San Diego program was launched in 2022 by the San Diego Parks Foundation to provide free, safe summer activities for families in neighborhoods with high crime rates and few activities for kids.

"We are proud to bring music, movies, games, sports and other family friendly fare to our parkgoers through the Parks After Dark program,” said Leona Sublett, president and CEO of the San Diego Parks Foundation. “Families can feel safe and welcome at their parks, where they can celebrate their communities with friends and neighbors.” 

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