Forrester Park—home of the famed Blue Sox and a small-town fixture

SMITHFIELD—Green fields for baseball and softball, an equestrian park and outdoor batting cages are just a few features that Forrester Acres Park, home of the 120-year-old Smithfield Blue Sox, offers the community.

Screen Shot 2014-03-05 at 11.36.51 AM Forrester Acres Park on the west side of Smithfield, a small city of about 10,000 founded in 1857, is home to the Blue Sox.

Everyone know the park at 100 N. 600 West, says Mayor Darrell Simmons.

“It is known throughout the state,” Simmons said. “I was with Governor [Gary] Herbert, and we were talking about Smithfield. The first thing he asked about was the Blue Sox diamond. People remember it—it’s just a well-kept place.”

The park has three baseball diamonds and two softball fields. There’s also soccer and football.

The park is home field of the Blue Sox—an amateur baseball team that began in the 1890s. “The thing to do on a summer night is come out and watch a baseball game. It’s the most beautiful thing,” Simmons said.

Each year, the park also hosts a week-long event known as Health Days on the second Saturday of May. There are usually about 80 arts and crafts booths, carnival rides and games for kids, a fireworks show and live entertainment throughout the day, said city Recreation Manager Brett Daniels.

City Council member Barbara Kent says that she has been going to park since she was a little girl. She loves everything it offers to the community.

“The Lions Club sells Lion pups—basically corndogs that are really famous—and people will come from all over to get them because it’s just something that the park is recognized for,” Kent said.

Screen Shot 2014-03-05 at 11.26.38 AMThough maintenance and upkeep is handled well by Daniels, who has been the manager for 14 years, he says there are some improvements the park could use to make it even better.

“We are upgrading the lights this year on the Blue Sox field,” Daniels said. “We’d like to upgrade the lights throughout the whole park or even add some more lights. The lights now are 60 years old, so we’d like to replace all of those.”

Funding for park maintenance comes from two sources: the county Recreation, Arts, Parks and Zoo (RAPZ) tax, a 0.1 percent local-option sales tax, and a park impact fee for people who buy building permits.

“We’ve made a lot of improvements on that park because they just keep adding to it and making it even better,” Kent said. “That’s my philosophy about Smithfield, it’s a place where the best just keeps getting better.”

Published in cooperation with the Hard News Cafe. Original story is here.