Plus, Disco Sports is seeking new digs
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6AM City Drink Up Campaign

Today’s Forecast

84º | 6% chance of precipitation
Sunrise 5:48 a.m. | Sunset 8:30 p.m.

🐴 Know Your City: Pony Pasture Rapids
Sunset over Pony Pasture
James River Park at Pony Pasture offers canoeing, kayaking, fishing, and these great sunset views.|Photo by RICtoday
Pony Pasture is one of the most iconic stretches of the James — beloved to walkers, paddlers, cyclists, runners, and anglers. This section of the river is a nucleus for outdoorsy folks from all over the Richmond area. But have you ever wondered how it got its name?

In the 1960s, this stretch of riverside property was part of Chesterfield County. Largely undeveloped, there was a meadow in the area that’s now the parking lot, and a barn where the kiosk now stands.

The families who lived above the river kept horses in the grassy stretch along the water — hence the name. Travelers on Riverside Drive could even stop to pet the ponies through the fence.

In 1969, the area was annexed by the City of Richmond. It was integrated into the James River Park System in the early 1970s. Known at that time as “the Rocks,” the spot wasn’t exactly the family-friendly riverside stroll it is now.

a river as seen from the trails

The trails that run through Pony Pasture offer several peaceful riverside views.


Photo by RICtoday

In the 70s and 80s, the Rocks was a notorious hangout for motorcycle gangs known for heavy drinking, violence, and general lawlessness. The second floor above the park bathrooms is actually a former police sub-station, established in hopes of quelling the rowdiness.

As years went on, however, things quieted down. Nature lovers started to overrun the party-seekers, and by the 2000s it was known as a spot enjoy the river rather than a place to get rowdy.

Today, the parks is one of the park system’s most popular properties. Riverside Drive is designated as a Scenic Virginia Byway, and hundreds of walkers, runners, and cyclists occupy its shoulder every day.

This article is part of our “Know Your City” series, where we take a closer look at hidden gems around Richmond. We’re always looking for more suggestions for where to explore. Tell us your favorites.
Monday, June 10
  • Sunset Yoga in the Park | Monday, June 10 | 6 p.m. | Dorey Park, 2999 Darbytown Rd., Richmond | Free | Bring a yoga mat and meet at the shelter beside the rec center.
  • Drive-By Truckers | Monday, June 10 | 6:30 p.m. | Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, 1800 Lakeside Ave., Richmond | $39+ | The band will play Groovin In The Garden as part of the Southern Rock Opera Revisited Tour.
Tuesday, June 11
  • “Holy City” Author Talk | Tuesday, June 11 | 5:30-7 p.m. | Benchtop Brewing, 434 Hull St., Richmond | Free | Debut author Henry Wise will discuss his thriller with award-winning Virginia writer S.A. Cosby.
  • Jack Stepanian On Shockoe Sessions Live! | Tuesday, June 11 | 7:30-8:30 p.m. | In Your Ear Studios, 1813 E. Broad St., Richmond | $15 | Get tickets to see the singer-songwriter in studio or tune in to the livestream on YouTube.
Wednesday, June 12
  • Movie Matinees: “Wonka” | Wednesday, June 12 | 2-5 p.m. | RPL West End Branch, 5420 Patterson Ave., Richmond | Free | See the fantasy musical film for free at the library.
  • Personal Finance 101 - Adult Learning Series | Wednesday, June 12 | 5:30-6:30 p.m. | HCPS Adult Education Center, 1420 N. Parham Rd., Richmond | Free | Join Henrico Schools for a free financial education series for adults of all ages.
Thursday, June 13
Sunday, June 16
  • VMHC Celebrates Father’s Day With Free Admission for Dads | Sunday, June 16 | 10 a.m.-5 p.m. | Virginia Museum of History & Culture, 428 N. Arthur Ashe Blvd., Richmond | Free | Dads can enjoy free access to the VMHC this Father’s Day, including the museum’s most recent exhibitions, “Julia Child: A Recipe for Life” and “A Better Life for Their Children”.*
Click here to have your event featured.
News Notes
  • After nearly 20 years on Starling Drive, local athletic gear store Disco Sports is selling its building. It plans to relocate once the building is sold, with a greater focus on outfitting teams. (Richmond BizSense)
  • Kickers forward Nicholas Simmonds was called up to Jamaica’s U20 National Team training camp this past weekend. The 17-year-old forward has played 226 minutes in eight appearances for the Kickers so far.
  • Dominion customers can expect a slight reduction in their monthly bills thanks to a recent request granted by the State Corporation Commission. The energy company had asked the SCC to drop a fee, without which customers can expect to save ~$4.50 per month. (Virginia Mercury)
  • Riverbend Roastery has retired the Probat machine that has roasted all its coffee since 1980. The machine broke last month, and even though it’s gone for good, it lives on as the Church Hill coffee shop’s logo.
  • Woman-owned business Royal Highnies uses airy, 400-thread count Pima cotton to create luxury loungewear for the whole family. It all began with boxer shorts, and now, trademarked Highnies are sold in over 500 retailers — but you can snag free hats for Father’s Day exclusively online with code ROYALDADDY24.*
  • What happens when you combine German engineering with the world’s most trusted name in hearing care? The biggest breakthrough in hearing technology in more than a decade: the Horizon hearing aid. (This is not your grandpa’s hearing device.) See if you qualify for a free trial.*
Summer meals for students
mary munford elementary school as seen from the street
Mary Munford Elementary is one of ten schools serving meals to RPS students this summer.|Photo by RICtoday
Starting today, RPS students under 18 can eat breakfast and lunch at one of ten schools every weekday but Friday.

Breakfast will be served between 7:30 and 9:30 a.m. and lunch will be available at hours between 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., both depending on the location.

Meals will be served at the following schools:
  • Broad Rock Elementary
  • JB Fisher Elementary
  • Henry Marsh Elementary
  • Holton Elementary
  • Mary Munford Elementary
  • River City Middle School
  • Dogwood Middle School
  • Huguenot Middle School
  • Richmond Technical Center
The program will run until July 18 and will be closed on July 4. All meals served will meet federal nutrition requirements based on USDA Dietary Guidelines.
The Buy
Cool off on National Iced Tea Day with refreshing peach iced tea from Oliver Pluff & Co. Plus, you can purchase by the pound.
The Wrap
David Lefkowitz.png Today’s edition by:
From the editor
The main two-mile loop of Pony Pasture’s dirt trail is one of my favorite places to run in the summertime. As of now, I’ve looped it just once since June began — I’ll keep y’all updated on the talley.
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