It's been a long struggle, but Flint Creek's Splash of Fun water park is open for business. Four hundred people showed up on opening day this weekend and plenty more Sunday braved the threat of bad weather.
Dawn Leblanc of McComb and her family and friends spend their Memorial Day weekend camping at Flint Creek. This is the group's first trip to Flint Creek.
“I love it,” Leblanc said. “It's safe. There are life guards everywhere. There are people walking around watching all of the kids so it's safe for them just to go and have a good time.”
The park is filled with slides for all ages, a swimming pool, a putt-putt golf course and what has proven to be a favorite for most of the youngsters, the lazy river.
“My favorite slide is the lazy river because it has all the bumps and they are fun to go down because you almost flip but you don't,” said Morgan Gibbs, 11, of Kiln.
"I like the lazy river. Because it's fun, but it's not lazy. It's kind of bumper cars,” added Gabrielle Meadows of Wiggins.
Stewart Smith, the safety coordinator and marketing director for Splash of Fun, was a lifeguard at the original water park in 1982 and he's back again.
"It's my career," Smith said. "It is my dream job and I'm certainly blessed to be part of this operation."
Owner and designer Rusty Ryals has been involved in the project for almost two years. He is happy, but not finished. He said in the works are another lazy river, ball complex, amphitheater and possibly condos and a movie theater.
"Well pleased that it's finally open," Ryals said. "We had a struggle getting to this point, but we made it. We're over the hump. We still have a lot to do, but we've got a lot of stuff going the right way."
"We will be back several times this summer and we will continue it on. Going to make it a family tradition," said Leblanc.
Splash of Fun is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. Sunday.