2020 has been a year for the history books. Panther Island Pavilion was a popular place for outdoor activities this year providing a park space to escape from the challenges that the pandemic brought on. Be it in a tube, on a bike or in a virtual format the community found ways to support causes and create fun while staying safe.
Read below a few highlights
- The annual Fort Worth’s Fourth fireworks show returned to the skies over Panther Island Pavilion even larger than ever this year. In-person activities were canceled but the show went on offering kids and adults alike the opportunity to safely celebrate our Independence Day from afar. Event staff coordinated a complete shutdown of the festival site and surrounding arterials, encouraging the community to watch from afar or by livestream from their home to maintain social distancing. KDFW Fox 4 provided a live stream and 95.9 The Ranch broadcasted the music. The fireworks show was made possible by generous contributions from Lockheed Martin and TRWD and celebrated those that fought for our freedom and honored first responders, healthcare workers, and everyone on the front line.
- New this year, the Panther Island Beach concessions expanded to 6 days a week. A concession stand served trail users and beachgoers with drinks and snacks available to purchase. On weekends, a food truck, waterfront yoga classes, and acoustic performers were added. Rental options were expanded to include more pedal boats to keep up with the demand. The Panther Island Pavilion Beach provided an option for people to bring their families and enjoy the Trinity River. With white squares painted across the lawn, the set up worked perfectly for families to choose a spot and safely social distance.
- Waterfront Yoga Sundays started during the summer months and due to popularity, the sessions were extended through the end of the year thanks to yoga instructor Jordan Palmer of Fort Worth Community Yoga.
- Oktoberfest Fort Worth was canceled this year, but that did not stop fans from celebrating in their own way! The festival still sold their classic hat pins and steins with proceeds benefitting TRWD’s Trinity River recreation & programming initiatives. Fans tuned into Facebook for a virtual prost with Alex Meixner who sang Ein Prosit in honor of the festival.
- The inaugural River and Blues Festival brought live music back to the Main Stage on November 13 and 14. The diverse line up featured performers such as Maddie & Tae, Samantha Fish, Bart Crow, Casey James, Courtney Patton & Jason Eady, Kirk House, Charley Crockett, Kody West, Southern Avenue, Johnathan Tyler & The Northern Lights, and Alaina Kay. Festival-goers had a choice between VIP tables or general admission tickets which offered a white painted square for attendees to put their chairs and properly social distance on the lawn.
- Backwoods Paddlesports opened up for their 8th season offering canoe, kayak, and stand-up paddleboard rentals on the Trinity River at Panther Island Pavilion. More than 12,500 individuals paddled with them this season, an 88% increase from 2019. Customers also had the opportunity to help clean the Trinity and collect around 200 bags of trash during their time out on the river. With the growing popularity of the river recreation, Backwoods hosted five on Sunset and Night paddles for the second year in a row, which accommodated 42 people.
- Fort Worth Bike Sharing B-cycle station located at Taylor Circle has made it easier than ever to hop on and off at the venue and enjoy the Trinity Trails. The station is the best overall performing downtown station and the 7th best overall performing station. Over 5,069 bikes were checked out at the Taylor Circle to date in 2020 which is a 140% increase from 2019.
- Operation Airdrop was a tribute that occurred on Memorial Day to honor healthcare workers and first responders on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic, and as always for our military heroes who have given the ultimate sacrifice. Due to the rainfall happening during the early afternoon in Fort Worth, the scheduled parachute was unable to happen, but veteran parachuters met at the top of the hill at PIP for a smoke and ground show.
- The Veterans Day Parade mobilized in the parking lot of Panther Island Pavilion on November 11. There was a brief opening ceremony followed by a Marine Corps Flyover at 11am. Shortly after the flyover, the motorcade began their route down Forest Park Boulevard where watchers stood and cheered, then circled back to Panther Island Pavilion.
- Step Up For Down Syndrome, Fort Worth Marathon, Pumpkin Spice, and Thanksgiving Day Run offered an in-person opportunity to hop on the Trinity trails for a walk or run. The events were modified to reduce gathering and provided a fun and safe way to exercise.
- Jude Walk, Walk to End Alzheimer’s and Great Strides all continued to raise money and host their events virtually, encouraging participants to get out and walk for a cause in their own neighborhood.