About 500 people came to Fuquay-Varina’s South Park Wednesday for the grand opening of the first public splash pad in western Wake County.
Joyful screams shot through the air as a giant bucket of water tipped over, soaking a few dozen kids and several excited town commissioners.
Alicia Rabil, who lives nearby, said even though her children have a pool in their backyard, “My kids have been talking about it nonstop.”
Mayor John Byrne congratulated the town and its contractors for moving quickly to get the facility done this summer.
“This splash pad was built in about 60 days, which is sort of unbelievable,” he said.
It’s the only major splash pad in the Triangle outside of several in Raleigh and Durham, and Byrne said he thinks it will become a regional attraction.
Fuquay-Varina’s splash pad is about 6,000 square feet of specialty concrete with dozens of colorful elements – buckets and pelicans dumping water down, nozzles shooting water up from the ground, and posts and arches spraying it sideways.
There’s also a waterproof wheelchair for handicapped children who want to play, donated by the local Junior Woman’s Club.
The splash pad can hold about 120 people, and when there are lines to get in, a town staffer will rotate a new group in every 16 minutes. It will be open daily until this fall.
It cost the town $335,000 to build. Public swimming pools, for comparison, can cost more than 10 times as much.
The Town of Cary is also building a splash pad in Jack Smith Park, which will open this fall.
Doran: 919-460-2604; Twitter: @will_doran
Fuquay-Varina splash pad
Where: South Park, 820 S. Main St.
Hours: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily until the fall