It was a splashing good time over the weekend at the Highland Family Aquatic Center.
The mini-waterpark's two-day pre-summer opening celebration attracted 434 people.
"And that includes 61 moms who got in free in honor of Mother's Day Sunday,'' said Mark Abdo, the city of Largo's aquatics director.
The facility, which closed out last year with its Soggy Doggy Splash Party in October, has re-opened under pre-summer hours, Saturday and Sunday only. Once school is out, the family aquatic center — complete with a 214-foot corkscrew water slide, a three-story speed slide, a wading area, two pools and an assortment of sprinklers and sprayers — will operate seven days a week.
"My crazy time of year starts now,'' Abdo said.
And he should know. Last year, about 50,000 people visited the aquatic center.
This year's special events will include Itty Bitty Pool Time for toddlers, Tidalwave Tuesdays for teens, Spash's Treasure Hunt (on July 24), and a new program, Tasty Wednesdays. Every week for 10 weeks, local restaurants will bring in treats for guests.
Abdo also is gearing up for summer projects at Largo's Southwest Pool. At the facility on Vonn Road, the aquatic department will help with the Sea, Sand and Synchro: A Synchronized Swimming Spectacular on Saturday, oversee the Under and Over Camp, a snorkeling and kayaking program in June, as well as the Flick'N'Float Family Movie Nights on Fridays in June and July.
"I think the success of our department is because we are family oriented,'' he said. "We're all about making memories, and I believe we do that,''
Piper Castillo can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (727) 445-4163.