An estimated 5,000 people attended a first-ever event in Lamar County Saturday, officially celebrating the re-opening of a beloved water park.
They took part in fishing events, bought various arts and crafts and ate lots of food at the Little Black Creek Campground and Park's Crawfish Festival.
The event took place just a short time after the park re-opened. It had been closed for awhile after a dispute between Lamar County Supervisors and the Pat Harrison Waterway District. But, Lamar County businessman Paul Nettles leased the property last December and opened it for business in January.
"It's been very interesting, long hours, long days," said Nettles. "But, a lot of gratitude, because everybody comes and enjoys it. The festival today is just a good kick-off to get everybody coming back out here," he said.
"I think it was really bad for this community, it was bad when they closed it down," said Wayne Alexander, a park visitor from Poplarville. "I'm really glad that somebody stepped up to help bring it back," he said.
"I'm ecstatic that the park is back open," said Deret Laughlin, another park visitor. "It gives everybody in a tri-county area and wider a place to come with their family, fish, camp, it's a good time," she said.
Nettles said about half of the park's cabins and shower houses have been renovated.
He also said he plans to add a swimming pool and a disc golf course.
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