One of the biggest summer-time attractions in Sulphur just got a whole lot bigger.
Sulphur Parks and Recreation (SPAR) conducted a test run of the new Raging River and Parrot Island on Thursday, and it didn't take long to for a line of people to form up waiting to try it out. The latest addition to the SPAR Water Park is now open full-time and nearly doubles the existing square footage of the park.
"Everything has been really positive so far," SPAR Director Norman Farr said. "We have had two test days, and everyone is extremely complimentary of it."
The new lazy river is 750 feet long and alternates between periods of fast-following water and wave action. Two wooden foot bridges span the Raging River to allow access to Parrot Island. The island is similar to the current child's play area in the original section of the park but includes more features.
"It has a little more features, slides, sprays," Farr said. "It is a lot more active area."
Farr said the reason behind expanding the water was to able offer more activities for all ages as well as alleviate some of the crowding in the smaller original lazy river.
"We wanted to offer something for all ages," Farr said. "We thought the river offered more for mature people and kids. We wanted to introduce something to add a completely different element. The small lazy river was so popular, that we decided to add a larger river with more room to operate."
The new addition also includes several tables with umbrellas, lounge chairs and shaded areas. A temporary concession stand has been set up there while the new one is being completed over the next couple of weeks.
The original water park opened in 2005 and has been extremely popular since the gates first opened. A third large water slide was added two years ago to meet demand. Farr said that additional expansion is not out of the question, but it will depend on continued demand.
The water park is open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Wednesday hours are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. while Sunday hours are 1 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Admission to the original area of the water park is $4.50 for in-district and $6.50 for out-of-district while the new Raging River and Parrot Island is additional $1.50 for in-district and $2.50 for out-of-district.