Sand Springs, OK - The City of Sand Springs Parks staff received two statewide honors during the Oklahoma Recreation and Parks Society (ORPS) annual conference held in Norman, OK. Sand Springs Riverfest was cited an Award of Excellence by parks professionals in the state, one of only three such awards given out annually at the parks conference. Riverfest also earned an Award of Excellence for marketing from ORPS.
“We’re honored to represent the citizens of Sand Springs, not only in our traditional park work throughout the year, but also with the special events we create,” stated Jeff Edwards, Director of Parks and Recreation for the City. “We have a great staff who reach beyond their daily tasks to offer quality parks and recreation services in Northeast Oklahoma, and we’re very pleased to receive this honor.”
Riverfest was created by parks staff to celebrate the completion and dedication of the former River City Park into the new $6.2 million project known currently as Case Community Park. The park name change recognized Mike and Pat Case for their $2 million contribution toward Sand Springs’ largest Vision 2025 park project.
Sand Springs Riverfest took nearly a year of planning thanks to a large committee that included local businesses, school and city officials, church members, and more. The event was held in September of 2017 after raising nearly $30,000 for the park celebration.
A few highlights of the day included an appearance by Sand Springs racing legend Bennie “The Wizard” Osborn, who was the NHRA top fuel dragster world champion in 1967 and 1968. The OKC Thunder’s mascot, Rumble, made an entrance, and helped kick off a Thunder Cares new basketball court dedication and basketball camp for kids. There was an artistic Chalk-A-Thon sidewalk art-chalk contest. A few former cast members from the live outdoor production of Oklahoma performed a brief segment from the musical. The Charles Page High School marching band performed on stage before the Rogues Five took over, followed by local interactive DJ Morgan Ganem’s performance, which was choreographed with the grand finale fireworks display.
Sand Springs Riverfest was awarded state ORPS honors for its excellent use of private funds to create the event for citizens; the strong use of volunteers; utilizing creative marketing methods and offering a diverse number of activities for people during the event.
“Special events can be a struggle for any community and they can consume large amounts of resources,” stated Edwards. “The resources, funding, and commitments from local civic groups, businesses, churches and more launched Riverfest into an award winning quality event.”
For more information on the Sand Springs Parks and Recreation Department visit www.sandspringsok.org and follow them on Facebook.
ORPS was founded in 1956 to advance the parks and recreation profession and industry in Oklahoma. Annual conference attendees receive professional training, continuing education credits and more. For more information about ORPS visit: http://www.orps.us/