Gwynn Oak Park has a long and colorful past. It was founded in 1863 as a privately owned amusement park and at its zenith in the 1960s, it had three big roller coasters as well as a historic merry-go-round. This attraction has since been moved to the Smithsonian Institute in Washington DC, where it is still operational. Gwynn Oak Park would regularly draw thousands of visitors a week and it was also the site of a massive civil rights demonstration in 1963, when the NAACP and a group called CORE targeted the park for resisting integration. The amusement park is gone now, and the site is used by locals as a nice place to stroll, play, or have a picnic.
Good Eats in Gwynn Oa
The area's African American heritage and traditions have a brought some delicious food into the area, including dishes which are always a favorite no matter the diner's race. Monaghan's Pub in Gwynn Oak serves soul food with an Irish pub twist and everyone raves about the seasoned shrimp salad. The pit beef barbecue sandwich is another menu item that is not to be missed. It is also an ideal place to grab a drink and watch a Raven's or Oriole's game. Peju Kitchen offers some of the tastiest Caribbean food around, and recommended is the heavily seasoned dirty rice with their baked take on the classic jerk chicken.
The Beer, Bourbon, an
The Beer, Bourbon, and BBQ festival at the nearby Maryland Fairgrounds is an annual exercise in excess and covered in sauce. The day long event features around 60 beers and 40 different varieties of bourbon and the admission pass comes with a sampling glass that will give the holder all-you-can-sample drinks. There is live music as well, which lends towards country and western, in addition to an event called a Pig Pick which involves the rapid and gleeful consumption of an entire hog by a large group of rowdy revelers. Keep an eye out for this festival every March.