'The Beach' opens Saturday with new attractions



After a fall and winter hiatus, "The Beach" at the Clayton County International Park will open this Saturday with a Memorial Day weekend celebration.

From May 29 to May 31, the Clayton County Parks and Recreation Department will host a celebration featuring a live disc jockey from 12 to 8 p.m., on Saturday and Monday, and fireworks shortly after dusk on Saturday night.

"The Beach" will be open on Saturday from 10 a.m., to 7 p.m., on Sunday from 1 to 7 p.m., and on Monday from 10 a.m., to 8 p.m. There are no special events planned on Sunday, according to park officials.

"I think that this year, we will have a lot more people because spring pretty much got skipped," said Clayton County International Park Administrator Troy Stubbs. "People were ready to come to ‘The Beach' on May 1, because of how hot it was. For the last two years, it has rained every Memorial Day and Labor Day weekend. We're expecting a busy weekend, as long as the weather holds up. Right now, things look clear for Saturday."

Stubbs said visitors to "The Beach" this year will be able to enjoy new children's amenities, special rates for birthday parties, other events, and free parking, excluding days with special events.

In anticipation of this year's season, the park has built an additional birthday event room, as well as a birthday hut in the park's Nassau Building to accommodate additional birthday party events. Upon request, Stubbs said, the park can decorate the rooms to fit specific children's themes, including "SpongeBob SquarePants," "Pirates of the Caribbean," "Batman," "Hannah Montana," "Dora the Explorer," and "Princess."

An entirely new amenity to the park, Stubbs said, is a new children's play area, donated to the park by Dream Park International of Sugar Hill. The structure, valued at more than $50,000, will add to the park's kiddy pool and include slides, a cargo net, and a "dump bucket" which fills up with water and periodically tips over, spilling its contents onto expecting and unsuspecting kids, he said.

Amy Keeney, marketing and sales manager for the Clayton County Parks and Recreation Department, said that since 1994, the park has provided a respite for people seeking a water park experience south of Interstate 285. She said the closest water park is Six Flags and White Water in Marietta.

"It's a great asset to the community and for people in the Atlanta area," Keeney said. "It's a family oriented facility and it's very affordable. There is just nothing else [like it] on this side of town."

The Memorial Day entrance rate for "The Beach" is $10 per person. On all other days, rates will be $9 per child and $11 per adult.

Following Memorial Day weekend, "The Beach" will be open Wednesday through Sunday from June 2 to Aug. 8. Following Aug. 8, the park will be open only on weekends until Labor Day weekend, when the park closes for the season.

For more information about birthday party rates and requirements, call (770) 603-4165. For more information about the facility and facility rentals, call (770) 603-4005.