Due to its unique natural setting, Sanatoga Park has traditionally been a popular gathering place for recreation and outdoor activities. It’s only appropriate, then, to start off this review by letting readers know about Lower Pottsgrove’s upcoming Fall Festival on Sunday, October 24th. Hayrides, a children’s show, games and a costume contest will take place in the upper level of the park next to the tot lot, starting at 1 p.m.
So, how do you get there? Plug the addresses below into your GPS or mapping program, or simply turn at Cutillo’s Restaurant, or onto S. Park Drive directly across from Sanatoga Corporation Appliance Specialists. You will soon get to the park. If you’ve come in past Cutillo’s, you will first see the lake on your right and then the hill with the bandshell, parking, basketball hoop and pavilion on your left. A driveway leads up the hill to a flat area that includes playing fields and a playground.
The playing fields are pretty impressive. Rodney Hawthorne, Township Manager explained that both have sprinkler systems. Re-design plans are in the works to make the baseball field a suitable venue for larger tournaments in the area. For example, if Ursinus College or Boyertown were having a tournament and needed another field/venue, the Sanatoga Park field would meet regulations and could be an economic development generator for the Township. At this point, though, the $1.5 million needed to do the improvements is not available.
I vaguely recalled that Sanatoga Park was a big draw for outdoor fun a long time ago, so I pulled out one of my history books. In consulting my trusty “A History of Pottstown, Pennsylvania, 1752-1952,” I found this:
“In the late 19th centrury, when transportation was limited and Pottstown was still a relatively small town, two parks were established for what was then a picnic trip ‘to the country.’ The growth of both Sanatoga and Ringing Rocks Parks was stimulated by electric street railways which established special service to both places. Going to either place in the open ‘summer’ cars was quite a frolic…
At Sanatoga the lure was that of a lake for boating, roller coasters, merry-go-roudns, and similar attractions. As noted above, Sanatoga Park also became noted for its automobile race track. In fact, stock car races are the only real attraction there now, for several years ago the amusements were discontinued.”
I imagine that the area now used for athletic events was once the racetrack, and would certainly appreciate any readers chiming in with any further history on that.
Sanatoga Park remains a hub of community activity for events such as the Fall Festival described above, an annual fishing derby in June, and a summer concert series, sponsored by Lower Pottsgrove Township and Exelon. On most Sunday evenings, starting at 6 pm, in late June through August, the sounds of polka, jazz, folk and rock can be enjoyed from the lawn in front of the bandshell. To see the program lineup from this past summer, check out the Township webpage here, where you can also keep an eye out for announcements about future events. And if you or your organization would like to sponsor an event, contact the Township at 610-323-0436.
And that wraps it up for Lower Pottsgrove… Many thanks to Mr. Hawthorne for taking the time to fill me in every time I called. 🙂 On to Upper Pottsgrove tomorrow!
Location: 223 S. Sanatoga Road or 200 S. Sanatoga Park Drive, Sanatoga, PA 19464. If you’re coming from Pottstown, turn right at Cutillo’s Restaurant.
Size: 54 acres
Suitability: All ages for numerous music, community and athletic events
Facilities: Lake, boat ramp, fishing, amphitheater/bandshell, restrooms, pavilion, basketball hoop, soccer & baseball fields, paved track around baseball field, wooded areas, playground, parking.
Activities + tips: Keep up with events at Sanatoga Park by checking the Township website.
Lower Pottsgrove Township
2199 Buchert Road
Pottstown, PA 19464
Ph: (610) 323-0436
Fax: (610) 323-3824
Hours: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. M-F