The grand opening of Splashville, Stephenville’s newest city park attraction, couldn’t come soon enough for a few eager fans.
Sierra Hill, 14, Courtney Odom, 11, and Ariel Hank, 11, were first in line. They arrived bright and early at 7 a.m. Saturday.
“We thought there was going to be a line,” Hill said.
The three friends had been anticipating the grand opening for quite some time, even making plans for opening day weeks in advance.
“We decided about a week ago that we wanted to be here on opening day,” Odom said. “At first we didn’t want to because we thought it would be too crowded.”
But their enthusiasm won out and the girls began picking up extra chores to earn money for their day at the park.
“We sold cookies and chicken,” Hill said.
“And cleaned house,” Hank added.
Samantha Farley, 4, and Kailey White, 10, were also eagerly waiting for the gates to open. They arrived with their dad Jeff Farley around 9:30 a.m., although the wait was beginning to be a bit too long for Samantha.
“We though they opened at 10,” Jeff said.
Friends Whitney Rhodes, 9, and Monica Duran, 10, didn’t get to the park quite that early, but they were plenty excited to see the park.
“I kept thinking about it last night,” Duran said.
“Dad said I might not be able to come, but I said, ‘You promised me!’” Rhodes said.
And promptly at 11 a.m., the gates did open and Splashville had its first official customers.
By 11:30 a.m., 86 children and “kids at heart” had made their way into the park.
The waterslides were a big hit and drew some of the biggest crowds at first. Rhodes, Duran and Odom all thought they might take a turn on that attraction first.
The river feature was also a huge hit for parents and children. And many attempts were made to cross the lilly pad walk - some more successfully than others.
Council members Dr. Malcolm Cross and Scott Evans also came by to see the new attraction. While neither council member took a dip in the pool, Evans said he was glad to see it open and to see so many people enjoying the water.
For anyone who didn’t get down to the park Saturday, there is still plenty of time.
Daily admission is $4, children under 2 are admitted free, and senior citizens 65 and older are $3. For those who prefer an evening visit, twilight fees from 5-7 p.m. Monday-Thursday are $2. No passes will be offered this year.
The water park will also be open on weekends during September, weather permitting.