Discover Bethesda, Maryland...365 Days a Year!

Day 165: The Bumper Car Pavilion – An Historic Party Venue

Pictures of The Bumper Cars in the 1920's

The year is 1926.  Silent movies are the rage.  Route 66 is created spanning from L.A. to Chicago.  Winnie the Pooh is published by A.A. Milne in the UK.  A first-class stamp costs $0.02 and the unemployment rate is 1.8%.  America is enjoying The Roaring 20’s wearing their zoot suits, fedoras, head bands and wing-tip shoes.  The wealthy cruise around in their Model T Fords.  And in Glen Echo Park, visitors throng to The Skooter for an exciting ride on the bumper cars!

Its art deco facade was added in the 1930’s and the ride was then renamed The Dodgem.  Today, the Bumper Car Pavilion still stands.  While you no longer find the good ole’ bumper cars bustling about, the building now serves the community as an ideal venue for dances, wedding receptions, bar/bat mitzvahs and private parties.

The open air pavilion

The building is open-air and therefore neither heated nor cooled.  It does offer a sound system and stage as well as clear, retractable plastic sidewalls for inclement weather.  Groups from 20 – 200 can be comfortably accommodated for dinner and dancing and up to 350 for a standing-room-only event.

In the evening, when it’s all lit up, The Bumper Car Pavilion is really something magical.  If you’re thinking about planning a party for some nice summer evening, perhaps consider the Bumper Car Pavilion and add a little historical flair to your event.  Why not make it a 1920’s theme party?     ~Amy

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