Sunday, April 6, 2014

Grand Opening Ceremony Held at Bowie's Market Place

April 6, 1983 (31 years ago today): A Grand Opening ceremony was held at the Market Place, a redesigned Bowie shopping destination that was formerly known as the Belair Shopping Center.  The Market Place was anchored by a new and modern Safeway grocery store.  The store was equipped with price scanners, and it was the third largest Safeway on the East Coast at the time.

Click here to see a set of newspaper advertisements that appeared in the Bowie Blade-News prior to the Grand Opening.  Special thanks to Megan Reilly who shared the advertisements with Bowie Living after discovering them in her shed when she moved into her Bowie home.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Tree Planted at Bowie City Hall to Honor Dr. King

April 4, 1977 (37 years ago today):  A tree was planted at Bowie City Hall in honor and memory of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on the ninth anniversary of his death.  Dr. King was killed in Memphis forty-six years ago today.

In 1977, Bowie City Hall was located in the Belair Mansion.  The King tree is located on the west side of the property - near the right corner of the mansion when facing the building from the driveway.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

City Considers New Fireworks "Venue"

After mixed reactions to the 2013 Fourth of July celebration at Prince George's Stadium, the city is considering a bold change to this year's event in order to reduce traffic congestion and to bring the fireworks display to more residents.

A Colorado company, Creative Fireworks, LLC, has submitted a proposal to launch the fireworks over the city from drones.  "By using larger shells, and launching the shells higher in the sky, we are able to increase the viewing area ten-fold," said Earl F. Cracker, the CEO of Creative Fireworks.  According to Cracker, Bowie is one of a dozen cities that is considering drone technology to improve municipal firework displays.  At this point, the City of Topeka in Kansas has signed on, and Cracker is hoping that Bowie is next.

According to City Hall, a plan has been designed that centers the fireworks in a triangle formed by Allen Pond Park, Prince George's Stadium and the Belair Mansion.  Each of those sites was identified as favorable viewing areas by city residents. According to Creative Fireworks, the  launching area would be high in the sky above Route 50 between the Route 197 and Route 3 exits.

The Creative Fireworks proposal includes a low powered FM broadcast to provide audio for the event.  "It's not the Boston Pops, but residents will be able to hear favorites like the 1812 Overture and Stars and Stripes Forever over their radios or streamed on-line to their smart phones," said city spokesperson, Ashley Buckingham.  The fireworks will be synchronized to the music.

Residents' reactions to the proposal have been favorable.

"I would be able to see fireworks from my backyard," said Ken L. Worthe.  "No more sitting in traffic for two hours for me!"

"I think I would watch the fireworks from Foxhill Park, "said nineteen-year-old resident Summer Sett.  "I think the reflection of the fireworks off the lake would be awesome!"

According to Buckingham, the city will make a decision by the middle of April.  "At this point, the only two options being considered are a return to Prince George's Stadium and the Creative Fireworks proposal," she said.

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