City officials welcomed excited children to be the first ones to enjoy the new splash pad at Fifth Avenue Park on Thursday.

"The first one was tremendously received in Conway at Laurel Park," Mayor Bart Castleberry said before he and other officials cut the ribbon and invited attendees to gather on the splash pad for the inaugural dumping of the big bucket with the city of Conway seal. 

Castleberry praised the people who made the splash pad's grand opening possible, including the construction crew who kept on schedule to ensure the facility would be open before Independence Day. 

"RJR Construction did an amazing job getting this facility open before the Fourth of July,” Castleberry said, noting the splash pad was around 5,600 square feet. 

In addition to the splash pad, Fifth Avenue Park got a new pavilion, new grills, an upgraded playground and green space. The project cost around $47,000 total, which was paid for by Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and Advertising and Promotion (A&P) funds. 

“I’ve got to give a shout out to the team — [CDBG Director] Kiera [Oluokun], [Purchasing Manager] Jamie Brice, [Executive Assistant] Felicia [Rogers] and the late Candy Jones, who we know is here with us today in spirit. They are simply the best group of people to work with.” 

Jones had served as the city’s grant administer. 

As the children ran through the water, laughing and screaming, the mayor told the Log Cabin Democrat: “That right there, that sound … the squeals of joy from the kids, that makes it all worthwhile.”