New Castle County Police are concerned about pop-up parties at county parks.

A pop-up party at a NCCo park? No way, police say

Ken MammarellaGovernment, Headlines

New Castle County Police are concerned about pop-up parties at county parks.

New Castle County Police are concerned about pop-up parties at county parks.

A post-midnight shooting at an illegal pop-up party at Glasgow Regional Park has led New Castle County Police to take “a proactive approach” on controlling parties at county parks.

The party apparently involved people leaving a Newark hotel and deciding via Instagram to move to Glasgow Park, even though it was closed, according to Cpl. Michael McNasby, a spokesman for County Police. The victim was a 16-year-old girl, 6ABC reported.

That party was impromptu, but County Police have seen increasing numbers of parties at county parks being planned on social media, often by out-of-state promoters, he said. Flyers for the parties sometimes promise DJs and alcohol, which are both banned at county parks.

Police officers sometimes scan social media for such events, and they have also been tipped off about questionable activities being planned. “Once things get on social media, they can get out of control,” he said.

Such parties have been reported most often at Banning Regional Park, Delcastle Recreational Park, Glasgow Regional Park and Iron Hill Park, he said. All are large (Banning, at 156 acres, is the smallest), and all have multiple amenities. Glasgow and Iron Hill are conveniently located on a big road, Route 896.

“New Castle County parks are a welcoming place for visitors, but our utmost priority is the safety of our community,” McNasby wrote in a release warning against pop-up parties promoted on social media. “Please know the rules prior to hosting an event so we all can have a safe and enjoyable summer.

“Due to the way these events are advertised, a large influx of people can converge on a space that is not properly set up to handle such a crowd.,” it continued. “These venues may lack proper security measures, emergency exits, and crowd control measures, putting attendees at a higher risk of accidents or injuries. They also disturb events and activities that are already scheduled and permitted for that day or location.”

All of the county’s 250 or so parks are closed dusk to dawn.

No pop-ups

The county has set up these rules for parks and park permits:

  • The rental season runs April 1 to Oct. 31.
  • All pavilion rentals and payments must be done online. Pavilions must be reserved at least seven days in advance. There are pavilions at Banning, Becks Pond, Brandywine Springs, Glasgow, Iron Hill, Paper Mill, Talley Day, Weiss and Woodshaven Kruse parks.
  • The office requires 14 days to process all new requests for non-pavilion rentals, such as sports fields and courts.
  • Amplified sound, alcoholic beverages and illegal substances are prohibited.
  • Parking and driving on the grass and walking paths are prohibited.
  • Admission fees or fees for rented games and booths may not be charged.
  • Distribution of educational or religious materials is restricted to event attendees only.
  • Police coverage is now required for any event with a total attendance of over 200 and/or at the discretion of the parks permits office. The permittee is responsible for paying all additional costs associated with additional services.

Renters must comply with county code on parks and recreation, which takes 1,500 words to detail.

“Any non-permitted pop-up events will be addressed immediately by NCCPD,” the release said.

McNasby said police have also seen pool parties in people’s backyards get out of hand with too large a crowd. Perhaps they were promoted on social media or in a pool rented from a website, he said. A site called Swimply, for instance, lists a half-dozen in New Castle County, with the largest capable of handling up to 50 guests.

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