WIGGINS, MS (WLOX) - Allen Beverages of Gulfport has been nominated as one of three finalists for Pepsi-Cola's Bottler of the Year honors. That's good news for the local company and also good news for Splash of Fun Water Park at Flint Creek in Wiggins. That's where Pepsi is filming a national commercial.
It's a family friendly attraction that opened just this summer, and the owner's personal Pepsi connection is why the soft drink giant is filming a national commercial here.
"I retired from PepsiCo Food Systems in '98, so it's kind of a family tradition, backbone I guess you could say, for us to be affiliated with PepsiCo," said owner Russell Ryals.
What better place to film a soft drink commercial than at a popular water park on a hot summer afternoon.
"We got nominated for bottler of the year, and it's one of the highest honors that Pepsi gives to their independent bottlers. We were chosen as one of the top three finalists," said Jesus Ramirez, of Allen Beverages.
Lifeguard Meagan Strickland is excited about the commercial and says the family atmosphere is the perfect match for Pepsi.
"It's been hot, but it's been very rewarding to get to be out here and help these families watch their children so they can enjoy themselves as well," said Strickland.
"A great place to bring your family," said Brad Holt, who says his little girl and twin boys love coming to the water park. "It's a family atmosphere. It's a good, fun, safe place to bring your kids and enjoy, enjoy a time together."
The commercial will let even more families know about this summer getaway.
"It helps our park. It helps Pepsi. It helps Wiggins and certainly it helps Stone County as well," said the water park's Stewart Smith.
Plans are in the works to expand not only this water park, but also the family entertainment in this area. They're adding another lazy river to the water park, plus more non-water activities.
"We're building a nine-hole chip and putt golf course down here that may turn into an 18-hole. And then we're doing a 40-acre ball complex over on the other side that will host baseball, softball and soccer tournaments," said Ryals.