STONE COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Fifty years ago, the state established the Pat Harrison Waterway district to provide recreation sites and manage the rivers and tributaries along the Pascagoula River Basin. It all started at Flint Creek.
"Today we are celebrating 50 years of the Pat Harrison Waterway district, and we're here at Flint Creek. It was the pilot project of the district," said Marketing Director Stewart Smith.
Celebrate they did, with everything from bouncy houses to bouncy slides to catfish.
"I got to play with all my friends and slide down with them and play with them," said 9-year-old Clint Ryals.
Smith said the lake at Flint Creek stretches 650 acres with 13 miles of shore line. Its main purpose is to provide Wiggins with water supply, but the park also accommodates those looking to relax. The festivities just highlighted the natural beauty of the area.
"They just reach out and do so much for our community throughout the year, not just today, everyday, and it's just a great place to come," said Saucier resident Rusty Ryals.
Rusty Ryals has been coming to Flint Creek with his family for years. He said this event is a way to say thank you and reminisce on the old days.
"Back in 1962 and the lake that we're looking at right here, 50 years ago was just some road beds, marsh land," said Smith.
But, as much as the day was chance to look back at how far they've come, Smith said, it was also an opportunity for people in the community to look forward.
"Well our future is bright. We've just established a new marketing scheme, the Pat Harrison camp trail," said Smith.
As the community looks forward, some wished the day would last forever.
"No, I'm not ready to go home," said Clint Ryals.