Aug 06, 2022

Wet or dry: Party in the Park parade offers fun for all

Posted Aug 06, 2022 12:00 AM

By MIKE COURSON
Great Bend Post

Main Street has long been the hub of parades in Great Bend. City Coordinator Christina Hayes is trying to change that, if only for one day in August each summer. On Saturday, Aug. 13, the wet/dry parade returns to Veterans Park as part of Party in the Park.

Hayes reiterates that the first half of the parade is a typical parade route: floats, candy, and staying dry. It's only after the parade crosses the railroad tracks that things turn wet and wild.

"If you want to come for the mega water fight, you cross the railroad tracks to the west and then you're in the wet area," she said. "We provide big tanks for people to fill up their squirters. They squirt the people in the parade, and the people in the parade squirt the spectators. It's just a big water fight."

The parade has helped kicked off Party in the Park for the past six years. Barb Esfeld brought home the idea after attending a similar parade in a small Colorado town.

"Thousands of people come for this parade in Colorado," Hayes said. "We don't have those numbers, of course yet. It's still taking a while to catch on. But it is a fun little parade. It's a different experience that provides entertainment for all. What's great, too, is you can go right from that parade to go watch the Anything that Floats race, or participate in the race."

Getting wet will be an unofficial theme early on at the 10th annual Party in the Park. The obstacle mud run begins at 8:30 a.m., and the Oozefest Mud Volleyball Tournament begins at 9 a.m. The wet/dry parade begins on 17th Street Terrace at 10 a.m., followed by the Kiwanis Anything that Floats race on the lake at 11:15 a.m. The Optimist Kids Fun Zone will also feature wet inflatables from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Hayes expects some of the regulars at this year's parade, including the Redi-Mix cement trucks filled with water, and enthusiasm on GB Car Care float.

"They go all out for it," she said. "They want to theme it up. It's just fun how some people really get into it and want to participate in it. I encourage you go to check it out even if you want to stay in the dry area."