East Bay Regional Park District marking 85th year

East Bay Regional Park District, the largest of its kind in the nation, is celebrating its 85th anniversary this year, offering visitors “Free Park Fridays,” concerts and other events, said Dave Mason, public information specialist.

The District annually welcomes millions of visitors to its preserved 122,000 acres that provide natural habitat for wildlife and outdoor recreation for people.

“For 85 years, the East Bay Regional Park District has preserved and protected open space in Alameda and Contra Costa counties, and provided public access to regional parks, shorelines, and trails for hiking, biking, swimming, horseback riding, boating, fishing, picnicking, camping, and nature discovery,” Mason said in the District’s announcement.

“Today the East Bay Regional Park District is the largest of its kind in the nation with 73 regional parks over 122,000 plus acres, and over 25 million annual visits per year – more than the A’s, Giants, Warriors, 49ers, and Raiders combined,” he said.

In celebration of the District’s anniversary, visitors will find fees are waived each Friday starting in April through December. Free Park Fridays include the waiver of fees for park entrance and for day use parking, swimming, dogs, horse trailers, boat launching and fishing.

Park entrance will be available based on occupancy.

The District also will be having special, family-friendly music events to mark its anniversary.

Bands will be announced later. Food and beverages will be available for purchase.

These events are Lake Chabot Concerts in the Park, Saturday, June 22, in Castro Valley; Crown Beach Concerts at the Cove, Friday, July 12, Friday, Aug. 9, and Friday, Sept. 13, in Alameda; Contra Loma Concert in the Park, Friday, Aug. 23, in Antioch; and John Sutter Gateway Bridgeyard Festival, Saturday, Sept. 28, in Oakland.

Those interested may visit the District website, www.ebparks.org.

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