EDEN — Parks and Rec officials say they're pleased the city's new Freedom Park Splash Pad has drawn about 300 soak seekers daily since sprinklers turned on two weeks ago.
And fun in the fountains is well worth the drive to Rockingham County, said scads of Virginia visitors this week.
"They just love it,'' said Ivy Gunn of Danville, who brought her daughter, Mallory Gunn, 6, and playmate Mary Beth Knight, 5, from Kernersville. "They're enjoying it a lot, and they just love the bucket!''
For most of the puddle jumpers, a favorite park feature is its giant yellow bucket that dumps a refreshing 50-gallon cascade every 45 seconds.
Tots and teens alike, squealed and giggled Tuesday afternoon, waiting to be doused. Other kids weaved through plumes of cool water across the brightly colored 5,000-square-foot "sprayground.''
Sporting a Minnie Mouse red and white polka dot swimsuit and jelly shoes, wee Payden Moyer of Ridgeway was back to the pad Tuesday for a second visit.
"It's really good for playing, because I can keep up with her and the lifeguards here are great,'' Payden's mom Patrice Moyer said, guiding the 17-month-old up to a water-shooting snail.
Kindergartner Knight skipped beneath drizzling parasols in the 95-degree heat and watched about 20 youngsters wait with toy pails to catch the big bucket's downpour.
Open since June 26, the $800,000 project, with concession stand and bathhouse, is positioned near the park's playground and dog parks.
Healthy inaugural crowds have delighted Parks and Recreation Director Johnny Farmer, who spear-headed plans for the park. On Tuesday, he calculated that more than 4,000 guests had enjoyed the facility.
Open 12:00-6:00 p.m. daily, the splash park also offers the grounds for private evening party rentals.
Admission is $2 for residents and non-residents, free for children 4 and under and free for seniors 55 and over.