Hamburg’s Town Beach and Park is now a century old – and some say it’s making a resurgence.
Even in the face of the ever-popular Woodlawn Beach State Park just a short distance away, the 13.44-acre town beach area is a jewel to the community in its own right.
Just ask Laura M. Hahn, who lives across from the beach in Locksley Park and is co-chairwoman of the Hamburg Rejuvenation Project, which is helping to coordinate today’s 100-year celebration of the park and the 15th annual Beach Blast, featuring skydivers landing on the beach and spectacular fireworks at dusk.
“It’s like ‘Wow,” a 100 years,” Hahn said Friday. “The Hamburg Beach is having kind of a resurgence. I think it’s being rediscovered and reinvented all the time ... Hamburg residents are really invested in the beach and they love it. The last couple of years, it’s getting more attendance and is kind of having a resurgence.”
In the early 1900s, Franklin Locke owned a large lakeside farm and sold property to the Locksley Park Co., a group of New York City area businessmen with local connections. The company then began subdividing the chunk of land to individual homeowners and promised beach rights to them. That perk has stayed in place ever since.
On Oct. 5, 1914, under the leadership of former Hamburg Town Supervisor William Kronenberg, the town bought the land that would become the town park and beach from the Locksley Park Co. for $3,500. Kronenberg has since been referred to as the “father of the town park” and will be commemorated with a plaque on a newly planted maple tree at the park at 3 p.m. today.
“Hamburg Town Park is a beautiful piece of property. We’re trying to make it a nice destination,” said Town Recreation Director Marty Denecke. “We want residents who are paying taxes to be able to enjoy it. Those of us who live in Hamburg should consider ourselves fortunate that we have such a beautiful piece of property to use.”
The beach still draws its share of sun worshippers, along with boaters, kayakers and paddleboard enthusiasts. Wind surfing and parasailing also top the list of favorite activities, along with movie nights now held at the park.
The Blast at the Beach is an alcohol-free event geared for town residents. The 26th annual Dash-n-Splash Family Run kicks the day off at 9 a.m. Activities planned for today include a sand castle contest from 1 to 3:30, a hot dog eating contest at 2 p.m. ,an appearance by Buffalo Animal Adventures showcasing wildlife reptiles and other exotic creatures and a display of 100-plus old and recent photographs showing how the park and beach have evolved.
Dancing will be on the beach from 5 to 10 p.m. The celebration will be topped off by Frontier Skydivers at 7 p.m. and a spectacular fireworks show by Skylighters at dusk.