Second annual ‘Party in the Park’ draws crowd

PARKERSBURG – Hundreds were expected Sunday for the second of three “Party in the Park” events sponsored by South Parkersburg Baptist Church at Southwood Park.

Pastor Joe Busch said the first party in June drew 400 visitors to the park.

“We just opened up the water slide and the pool to everybody in the community for free,” he said. “We also had ice cream for everyone. It’s our way of getting back to the community and a chance to get to know some of the people in the community.”

Busch said last year the church sponsored one party and then decided to go a step further with three events this summer. He said the third party will be Aug. 3 at Southwood Park.

“We had one in August last year and we decided we would try to have one each month during the summer,” he said.

Busch said the “Party in the Park” grew out of a 10-year tradition of having a Sunday School picnic open to the public. The picnic had a carnival-like atmosphere with inflatable rides and other games.

Busch said 50 to 75 members had volunteered to work at the party on Sunday.

Janelle Skinner, pastor of children and family life, said the Aug. 4 party will have a back to school and cookout theme.

“We will be giving away backpacks for back to school,” she said. “We will be doing hot dogs and others for more of a cookout theme.”

Skinner said the Southwood Park Pool schedule had just so many openings and it caused the second and third parties to be set two weeks apart. She said the third party will also be from 5:30-7:30 p.m.

While the church’s members have not made any decisions yet, it may try to have three community parties in 2014, as well, Skinner said.

“I think we may have them next year since we tried it this year and we were fairly successful,” she said. “Now that we have done it we will know what to build on and what to do different to make it bigger and better.”