After a busy Christmas season, Ardmore Parks and Recreation is almost finished with special events for the year. Only Saturday’s Home for the Holiday’s dog event and The Festival of Lights which runs through December 30 remain. During Monday’s Regional Park Authority Meeting, the board discussed recent successes and upcoming plans.
The holidays kicked off in November with the annual Chigger Chase. Nancy Sjulin, race committee cochair, said attendance and sponsorships were up again this year. However, revenues were about $1,000 short of last year’s record high.
“If we wouldn’t have had to order medals this year, we probably would have had our highest year ever,” Sjulin said, adding that they shouldn’t have to order more medals for several years.
“We’ve been very busy,” said Director Teresa Ervin. “Our extra special events for Christmas are done except for the dog event on Saturday. Alicia [Henry, assistant director] and Tes [Stewart, recreation supervisor] have really done a great job with that.”
Assistant Director Alicia Henry gave details about Santa’s Workshop. The event ran November 30 and December 1, and families were invited to make crafts, eat snacks and pose for a photo with the jolly elf after driving through the Festival of Lights. Though the event was marked as successful, attendance was almost 500 people short of last year’s record.
“This year we had two things that were fighting against us,” Henry said. “We had the state game for the Ardmore Tigers and a huge storm that night. If it wasn’t for those I think it would have been normal.”
The event ended up with 397 people on Friday and 809 people on Saturday.
Last week’s Jolly Trolley, a tour of the Festival of Lights on the Ardmore Trolley, was sold out before the first night of the event, and the Night on the Polar Express last Friday was attended by 288 visitors.
In 2019, one of the main focuses will be construction of The Clubhouse.
“We’ve already gone out to bid,” Ervin said. “Last week we had our mandatory pre-bid meeting and there were seven contractors.” She said that while she’d love to receive seven bids, she realistically expects three or fo ur. The bids will be opened on January 8.
“I’m hoping to present it to the [City] Commission on January 22,” Ervin said. The commissioners will then either approve or deny the project. If approved, the construction will likely run through the end of next year.