Do you remember Dowdy’s Amusement Park? I do, and what a great place it was for all, young and old. Those rides, the arcade games, plus the popcorn and cotton candy. I can still see it now. Ah yes, those were the days when we enjoyed just being out with the family and looking at the roller coaster even if you did not ride. It was a sad day when it closed, back in the early 2000’s, after being a fond part of Nags Head for so many years.
Not long ago it was announced that Dowdy’s Park would be returning to Nags Head, not as the old amusement park we remember, but as a beautiful park to be enjoyed by all ages even without the rides! The Town of Nags Head purchased the land several years ago with the intent of making it a park to be enjoyed by residents of Nags Head and everyone else who passes by the old site on the corner of Bonnett Street and Croatan Highway. To continue to carry the name of the original owner it will be called “Dowdy Park”.
A committee worked long and hard with residents of all ages, including children, to come up with the best design that would give everyone an opportunity to enjoy the new park. At this time the plan includes an informal trail park with play equipment, a multi-use playing field and turf area, restrooms, an event plaza, pavilion, boccie/lawn sports and a multi-use court. Keeping an eye on environmental concerns there will be a wetland garden, small dunes with vegetation plus a separate garden. There are also proposed benches, tables and chairs and fitness stations.
Funding is always the question that comes with financing such an undertaking. Currently the Town is hopeful of receiving a grant from NC Parks and Rec Fund. In addition the Outer Banks Tourism Board has been a tremendous help in the miles of sidewalks built throughout the Town and other amenities. Nags Head will be applying again for their assistance. Let’s hope they are successful!
It’s location alone should draw from the neighborhoods nearby plus those biking the wonderful sidewalks along the area. Our summer visitors will see the activity as they drive by another great addition to all the amenities in Nags Head. Way to go those of you in charge!