Alexandra Park’s 150th anniversary celebration on 21 July will showcase its extraordinary history by bringing back popular activities from its rich history including archery and tethered balloon rides.
Sure to be a firm favourite on the day, tethered balloon rides will provide the opportunity for visitors to rise high above the Park-wide celebrations and take in the best view in London.
Historically ballooning has been a popular attraction at Alexandra Park most notably when American gymnast J.S. Baldwin made a series of daring parachute descents from unattached balloons during the summer of 1887.
Baldwin, dressed in gymnast’s tights, solely rose to more than 1,000 feet above Alexandra Park before deflating the balloon mid-air then parachuting headfirst down to earth hoping to land in the same area within the Park as the balloon.
After a series of attempts – once with a balloon missing its Park target completely and landing in France – Baldwin ascended into the sky above Alexandra Park for one last time in October 1887.
In front of roaring crowds, the Prince of Wales and Princess Alexandra – after whom the Park and Palace were named – Baldwin ascended to an astonishing 3,000 feet before descending gracefully down to the ground to great applause.
Duncan Wilson, Chief Executive for Alexandra Park and Palace said: “One of the highlights of the day will surely be the return of tethered balloon flights to Alexandra Park after more than 100 years!
“However, the balloon is only one part of this major event with other activities bringing together local talent from across the Borough to help us celebrate our 150th Anniversary.
“Alexandra Park and Palace was originally designed for the people so we want our historic celebration to be for the people too.”
Event organisers have confirmed that between 11 – 4pm the celebration will feature a bandstand featuring local community groups and entertainers, a south terrace street party, a farmers’ market, an activity zone including pitch and putt workshops, cricket, community games and archery, a funfair, Victorian street performers and fairground rides, Palk walks, tree climbing, face painting, pedalo races and a Red Bull soapbox showcase just to name a few.