PALM COAST, Fla. (July 3, 2024) – The squeals of laughter could be heard from across the parking lot of Holland Park as kids of all ages converged on the splash pad. It’s been a long time coming as families waited anxiously for repairs of the free water park to be made. Judging by the number of families who showed up for the inaugural Patriotic Picnic, hosted by the City of Palm Coast’s Parks & Recreation department it was a welcome way to kick off the Independence Day holiday weekend.

Inviting families out for a two-hour picnic with free hot dogs, parks and recreation deputy director Brittany McDermott said they couldn’t keep up with demand after families flocked to the park.

“We just reopened the splash pad, it’s amazing. We had a wonderful turnout, tons of kids with smiling faces,” she said appreciatively.

“It definitely makes it worth it for us. This is what we’ve been working towards and we’re so happy that this day is happening. This park is in incredibly busy. It’s one of our busiest parks but this is really something else for sure to see this,” said McDermott.

Team members were excited by the response from the community, and even as they packed up for the day, were still in the holiday spirit.

“We actually ran out of food, it went so well,” she said. “We had hot dogs and mustard sponsored by Boar’s Head, and then we had chips and water. We had to run out to the store for more and we still ran out, so people were really excited to welcome this with us.”

Mom Brittany Beam was all smiles as she loaded her little ones into their SUV after an afternoon of play.

“My son’s been wanting to come back to the splash pad, he’s five. He had an absolute blast playing with all the kids, and had a great time,” said Beam. “We are just absolutely so stoked to be able to have something kid-friendly, in town, for free.”

McDermott said the splash pad will be open daily and doesn’t anticipate any gaps in usage for residents over the next few summer months.

“We’re going to have our regular preventative maintenance weekly and there may be times when we need additional maintenance and that’s all normal,” explained McDermott. “But no, we’re not going to have any more disappointments.”

The City of Palm Coast partnered with the cities of Bunnell and Flagler Beach, along with Flagler County to present the United Flagler Fourth, providing a single schedule of events for families throughout the day.

“It’s been amazing for the community because everything is packaged together. When we put the information out you’ve got one big, grand day to celebrate. You don’t have to remember who’s doing what, where you’re going. Everything’s out there for you. We work together very well and it’s been an amazing collaboration,” said McDermott.