Southeast Missouri State University student publication

Parks and Recreation Department host fun-filled evening for community

Friday, October 16, 2020
An inflatable slide and bounce house were one of the main attractions for children attending the Parks and Rec Night Saturday, Oct. 10, at Arena Park. Other activities included cornhole, mini golf, bowling and ring toss, all with a fall-themed twist.
Photo by Ramond Buck

As people filed into the Parks and Recreation Department’s Event Night at Arena Park Oct. 10, model airplanes flew overhead and familiar classic rock songs played over the speakers. The event typically takes place in July, but due to the pandemic, it was pushed back until October.

Recreations Supervisor Chris Eastridge said they held the event in the fall to make up for the events missed during the summer.

“We always do a Parks and Rec day in July as part of Parks and Rec month. We had to postpone it this year obviously with Covid. Then we have the Fourth of July; we’ve always done fireworks. That was postponed, as well,” Eastridge said. “So, we thought we would combine the two, have an outdoor event where people could social distance and get the community out to do something together.”

The department added more activities this year like inflatables, cornhole and mini-golf, in addition to the firework display finale.

Families took part in the games and activities at the event and enjoyed having fun outdoors. Cape resident Sara Tlapek and her family attended the event and were excited for all the activities the department had provided.

“Anything fall-related that is outdoors and that our kids can do is very welcome for us,” Tlapek said. “Libby is five and Sean is four, so anything to do with bouncing, like the inflatable slide or bounce house, is their favorite.”

Other activities included in the event were a picture station, balloon animal artist, model airplane demonstrations and a dance routine by Fingerprint Urban Dance Studio.

“We’re really trying to fill a niche and get rid of the stigma of when you talk about urban or Black history. That’s what we’re about,” Curry said. “We have different dances for different settings and also different dances for different communities. ... Those four [dancers] who performed with me knew that they wanted to give energy to the community.”

Local food trucks were on site of the event and featured food options from restaurants like Sugar Chic Creamery and Straight Line Swine BBQ. Marcus Theaters also provided popcorn to attendees to enjoy with the showing of “Monsters, Inc.” which was projected on an inflatable projection screen.

For more information on Cape Girardeau’s Parks and Recreation Department, visit their website.