Bishop Park hits homerun with 2010 Family Fest

(Photo courtesy of Lori Lemons)By Martin Couch

Bryant Parks and Recreations Director Jeremy Lemons says that this year's 12th annual Family Fest at Bishop Park in Bryant was the "biggest and best" so far.

"We had our typical small crowd on Friday night, but had a huge turnout during the day on Saturday for the Antique Car Show, Battle of the Bands and the dedication of the Community Center," Lemons said. "Elvis brought out a big crowd before the rain came."

The two-inch rain downpour forced the cancelation of the Cartel concert.[more]

Photo courtesy of Lori Lemons

"We had almost two inches in 45 minutes and our sound production equipment was soaked," Lemons said. "We apologize to several young people at the front gate that said they had driven from miles away."

However, the festivities recovered on Sunday with another large crowd for an open-air church service, which was followed by concerts in the afternoon and the July 4th fireworks show.

"The event was very smooth with the help of the Bryant Fire and Police departments," Lemons said. "We had 12 concerts on the main stage and a second stage with six concerts and Radio Disney. The fireworks were shot a little quicker than normal, but I think the crowd really enjoyed them from all the applause and noise.

"Our only problem is that we ran out of parking," he added.

The festival has experienced parking problems before when it was held at Mills Park, which has only 400 spaces available.

"We had tripled the amount of parking in the new park and successfully parked around 1,200 cars," Lemons said. "People came from the Hurricane apartments and watched from the golf course. I heard the neighborhoods were filled with cars and people. I think I have an idea where another 800 cars could park next year, but that is a work in progress."

Lemons estimated that a minimum of 10,000 people were in Bishop Park during Family Fest last weekend.

"That's a conservative estimate," he said. "The fireworks crowd was around 5,000 people, which was based on the number of cars, information from the police and festival attendees."

And Lemons received many compliments on the new Bryant park and its facilities.

"This was the first time that we were able to open the park to the public and it went great," he said. "We estimate that approximately 750 people came for a tour of the center. There were a few who stated they only wanted to take a look at the center, but by the time the tour was completed they were asking where to sign up for more information, because they were definitely going to purchase a membership.

"People who came to the festival were also able to get a view of the aquatic facility and the ball fields, which are currently being constructed," Lemons said. "There were also some positive comments made about the parking that is available at this park. Most, if not all, of the people that came were very excited and cannot wait until the park opens."

Lemons hopes the festival will continue to grow and get better each year.

"This was a great event for our community," he said. "The parks staff did a great job. They transitioned to the new park without any problems and were able to keep up with parking, touring, clean-up, etc…."


  1. martin

    it’s better not to say anything, than do and show how ignorant you are! People are laughing at you now!

  2. Tax Payer

    Sounds like Mr. Martin is a city employee. How much money has the ballpark generated for the city this year? That park should have been completed last year.

    Saying nothing is the problem!!

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