By Joel Phelps
Aside from the upcoming Doggie Dip this weekend, the Arkadelphia Aquatic Park is closed for the season. But City Manager Gary Brinkley noted in his report Tuesday that there’s good news to be shared.
Brinkley told the Arkadelphia Board of Directors that the 2021 season — despite it operating only on weekends for a while — had the highest attendance since 2016. Attendance for the 2021 summer, between Memorial Day and Labor Day, was 17,566 visitors to the park. That figure is just shy of 2016’s record of 18,075.
“This will be the highest revenue total since the Aquatic Park opened in 2002,” Brinkley told directors.
Saturday’s Doggie Dip will be from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
In other Parks and Recreation News, Brinkley reported the basketball court at the Recreation Center has been sanded and sealed, with stripes and a logo to be painted this week. Once that is finished an oil-based polyurethane will be applied.
The Arkadelphia Street Department recently addressed issues on the north side of Walnut Street and expanded the surface on the south side for the Perritt Primary School pickup lane. Kenny Myers, street department supervisor, has reported to administration that the striping company is slated to begin work this week.
Brinkley said the city received drawings on the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Park and are “reviewing” them. “In light of the widening of Pine [Street], they will be modified, and to what degree will be worked out in the near future,” Brinkley said.
Brinkley thanked everyone who participated in the recent Henderson State Street Fair, and acknowledged the next event that is sure to draw a crowd. “We are five weeks out from the Arkadelphia Festival of Arts event,” he said, adding a few more sponsors and volunteers are needed.
The 20th anniversary celebration of the Community Family Enrichment Center, Brinkley was “saddened to report,” has been postponed until a future date when it can be done in person.
On the bright side, the Motorcycle Cannonball event will make its local appearance on Wednesday, Sept. 22, in downtown Arkadelphia. The pre-1930 motorcycles and their riders — who are making a border-to-border excursion from Canada to Mexico — will be on display that day from about 4:30 p.m. until 6 p.m. From Arkadelphia, the motorcyclists — including Arkadelphia Mayor Scott Byrd — will leave in mass and parade to Caddo Valley hotels where they will work on the motorcycles so they can continue their southward journey the next morning.
The Board Retreat will be held on Oct. 2.