I didn’t realize that you can fit a carnival inside a tiny park, but that’s what happened at an event called “Splash” at Colonial Heights Park. The day consisted of kids hammering plastic frogs into buckets, testing their strength at the high striker, dunking volunteers into water tanks, flying inside the jump house and catching toy ducks with nets. The Splash event was coordinated by Alberto Mercado of Sac BHC (Building Healthy Communities) at the Colonial Heights Park on July 18th.

The event started at 3:30 p.m. and when I arrived the park was already a crowded circus. Families from all around the community gathered. Even council-member Jay Schenirer came by to show some love. Along with various branched organizations of The Hub, who have all came to outreach and show support. Agencies including; Asian Resources, YLC(Youth Leadership Council), Connect Center, Ubuntu Green and Legal Services of Northern California. Melissa Yeager from Panacea Services stated, “Today the future youth leaders are putting on a Splash event to celebrate summer. They’ve raised money to put this on with the South Sac coalition, so everyone can come out and enjoy themselves.”

“What motivated me to help with this event with my companions is because most pools are getting shut down, and not everybody is going to have this type of experience.” said, Marco, a volunteer from YLC.

At about 5 o’clock, everyone began forming a line for a free meal and a raffle ticket. The food was delicious, and I can see the kids were really satisfied.

I watched them run around beaming. Most running back and forth between parents and games. The parents were enjoying watching their kids have so much fun. A participant, Augustine Garcia gladly said, “I always come to this park with my sons, so they can play in the playground. I got this piece of paper, and noticed there was going to be a little get together at the park. It was bigger than i thought. We’ve seen it from far away, and all the kids just ran over. It was nice for you guys to do something like this for the community.”

I asked two BHC members from Boyle Heights, L.A. the question, “What do you think of the event, and how has it affected you?”

“The energy was contagious, as soon as we arrived. everyone was partaking in some kind of activity. Just to see the community come together and to kind of let go, was really nice.” Joel Perez answered.

Hub manager Ruthie Flores Retana said, “It’s full of fun, festive, good energy. I really love seeing the youth taking leadership in the development of the event. As well as being hands on deck. that they were really working to make the event fun for the community. There’s a lot of similarities between cities. The hunger of making our community a safer place. It gives us hope to be able to bring this back, to share an experience of no stress.”