The City of Huntsville knows how to put on a party–especially a birthday party. In this case, it was the nation’s 245th birthday. To celebrate, the City’s Parks and Leisure department offered residents numerous activities, including rock-wall climbing, mechanical bull riding, face-painting, balloon art, dunk-the-local celebrity, watermelon-eating contests, numerous vendors providing food and fourth-of-July fare, and more.
Residents had their pick of activities. One of the most popular was the bull-riding, which could be adapted for the participant’s age (and fear). Kids often took a ride on the bull, then headed straight for the line again, to go at it another time. Of course, some adults found the fun irresistible, too.
When kids weren’t on the bull, they headed to the rockwall, where the goal was to climb to the top and ring the bell. A few made it!
Not all the kids made it all the way up, but they had fun, with staff lending encouraging words.
The crowd size was steady, peaking around five-thirty, but was never so large as to be overwhelming or intrude on the fun.
If residents got tired or hungry, there were vendors on hand to stem the cravings.
And every forty-five minutes, there was a watermelon-eating contest to occupy the crowd, either by participating or enjoying the show.
The good news is no one got sick! The better news is that everyone had fun.
Of course, even with all the fun, sometimes the agony of defeat was difficult to handle.
Of course, there was always staff on hand watching over things…
…or providing instructions…
But a lot of the fun was just seeing people who were enjoying themselves.
If people needed a break, there was a coloring booth, which occupied many.
And if people were feeling feisty, they could attempt to “dunk the local celebrity,” which included folks such as KSAM’s Glenn Edwards, the City of Huntsville’s Deputy City Manager Rick Rudometkin, and the City’s Chief of the Fire Department, Greg Mathis. Greg was dunked the most, perhaps because he had the most fun with the participants.
It was a great day, spearheaded by Penny Joiner, Kristy Wheeler, and with help from many other City of Huntsville staff, including intern Jade Jones.