The event offered sack races, inflatables, games, snow cones, popcorn and watermelon. The park has historically been utilized by residents to watch holiday fireworks shot off the USS Lexington across the bay in Corpus Christi, but Friday’s event marked the first time city staff got involved.
“This is a popular location to watch fireworks over the bay, and we thought it would be good to get involved with the community,” Parks and Recreation Director Kristin Connor said.
Connor estimated around 75 to 100 visitors attended the event. Fifteen city employees worked to ensure the event ran smoothly and were paid for their time.
“It’s a special event for the department, so they are getting paid,” Connor said.
Eight volunteers from the city’s Kidz Kamp helped manage games and races.
Herlie Bray watched her sons – Patrick, 13, and Chris, 11 – participate in sack races during the event. She said she was glad her family did not need to travel to Corpus Christi to watch fireworks and celebrate the holiday.
“We didn’t want to drive all the way across the bay,” Bray said. “This is close, and they get to play. This is a good idea.”
All children who participated in games or races received prizes.
Staff cleared games and concessions at 9 p.m., when many visitors made their way toward the park’s beach to get front row seating for fireworks.
Alex Wade said his family has visited the park the past two years to watch Independence Day fireworks.
“This is the biggest crowd they have had out here,” Wade said. “They’ve never made it official until now. It’s a pretty good view from here. I’m definitely hoping this continues.”