Woodward, Okla. —
Local and area families are invited to celebrate Memorial Day weekend at Crystal Beach Park.
There will plenty to see and do at the park, including a Northwest Oklahoma Junior Rodeo contest at the Roundup Club Arena, the Woodward Travelers Minors Festival at Fuller Park, and the 2nd annual Woodward Car Show along Temple Houston Drive.
As if that wasn't enough, the Crystal Beach Waterpark and Kiwanis Train will start their summer seasons this weekend.
The Kiwanis Train will start offering rides tonight from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. The train will also be running on Saturday, Sunday and Monday from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. each day.
David Hughes, train chairman for the Woodward Kiwanis Club, said the Monday rides are a one time offer because of the Memorial Day holiday.
After that, Hughes said the train will continue to offer rides every weekend throughout the summer on Friday evenings and Saturday and Sunday afternoons.
There is a small fee charged to ride the train, which go toward supporting the charitable efforts of the Woodward Kiwanis chapter.
Hughes said the club offers the train rides because "it is not only an opportunity to raise money for good deeds in Woodward, but also an opportunity for families to bond and kids to have a great time."
The Kiwanis train has become a tradition for Woodward.
"It was dedicated and opened in 1956, so we celebrated our 50th anniversary in 2006," Hughes said.
However, he said the train was then put out of commission for a while after construction began on the Crystal Beach Master Plan project in 2007. But once the new train depot was built last year, the train made a triumphant comeback during the 2012 Crystal Christmas program.
Now the Kiwanis members "are excited about offering rides in the summer again," Hughes said.
"It's very much a community service as generations of children have ridden the train. It's just been a tradition and people come back to bring their kids and grandkids to ride the train," he said.
The Crystal Beach Waterpark will open for the summer at noon this Saturday.
"From that point forward we'll be open 7 days a week, including holidays," said Trenton Sunderland, general manager of the waterpark.
The park hours will be noon to 7 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, noon to 8 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, and 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Sundays.
Sunderland said that entry fees for the park "will be the same as they have in the past." That includes the lower spectator fee that was instituted last summer for those adults "who want to come in and watch their children and not swim," he said.
"We figure that the more adults and parents we have watching kids, the safer it will be for everybody," he said.
That's why the waterpark also has a policy that "no child can come in without an adult to supervise them," Sunderland said.
He explained that the age cutoff is 12-years-old, with those 12 and under considered children and those 13 and older considered adults.
"It's really for the safety of the kids and well-being of everyone else there," he said.
In addition to the regular daily entry fees, Sunderland said the waterpark also now offers all season passes, including individual passes for children or adults as well as a 4-person family pass, with option for larger families to add additional passes at a reduced rate.
These passes can be purchased at the water park front desk, he said.
"In the years past, we had punch cards. We'll honor past year's cards, but we're not going to issue any more punch cards because we have switched to the season passes," he said.
Sunderland said the waterpark will also be offering "several special events throughout the summer."
For the first 3 weeks of the season, the waterpark will host swimming lessons for children. Beginning Monday, May 27 there will be 3 one-week courses, each lasting Monday through Thursday, with the 45-minute classes held at 9 a.m., 10 a.m. and 11 a.m.
"We still have spots available, you just need to come up to the waterpark anytime to sign up," Sunderland said.
Or you can call the waterpark at 256-2874 for more information.
Then later in the season the waterpark will host "community days," he said. These are essentially opportunities for local non-profits "to have a fundraiser and they don't have to do anything," he said.
"Starting the second week in July on Mondays through Thursdays, we're going to offer the park after 5 p.m. to non-profits and it will be their day to do with it what they want," Sunderland said. "They can have a party and bring as many people as they want in. The waterpark will also still be open to the public. But we'll give 80 percent of the admissions that we make after 5 p.m. back to the organization."
He explained that the waterpark offers those days and times because "it's usually a slower time for us."
The community day program was started toward the end of last season, he said, "to kind of test the waters a bit." It turned out to be pretty successful with the waterpark donating "almost $1,000 to a couple of organizations," so the program was continued for this year.
"We'll have over 25 days available," Sunderland said, noting that non-profits can call the waterpark at 256-2874 to learn more about the program and schedule a day.
There will also be other special programs being offered throughout the season including "a couple of night swims," Sunderland said.
"Keep checking with our Facebook page (facebook.com/CrystalBeachWaterpark) and the Woodward News for more information," he said.
SAME LOOK, NEW FEEL
Sunderland said those visiting the waterpark this summer will find that it has undergone a few renovations "so that it's almost like new again."
"It looks the same, but they put in a new kiddy slide and they redid half of the floor of the pool to fix the cracks that some people may have noticed last year," he said.
Also, Sunderland said, "the city put in a whole new chlorination system" to make sure conditions at the park remain as healthy as always.
"We've had an exemplary health record all the way back to when the city ran it," he said. "We just want to make sure there are no health concerns. The city and we want to stay proactive and stay ahead of things and make sure we never have any issues."