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Families flock to The BEACH for first opening day since 2012

Metro Atlanta residents packed the beach at Clayton County International Park Saturday for its opening day. (Staff Photo: Curt Yeomans)

Metro Atlanta residents packed the beach at Clayton County International Park Saturday for its opening day. (Staff Photo: Curt Yeomans)

JONESBORO — Skylar Harris waded into the kiddie pool at Clayton County International Park with her father Saturday and mostly took in her surroundings.

Joseph Harris splashed water on his 1-year old daughter to keep her cool while her mother, Clarice Harris, snapped their picture. Skylar splashed around a little bit and smiled for her parents but she mostly looked around to see what everyone else was doing.

This was all a new experience for the Stone Mountain youth after all.

“We heard this was opening today so we wanted to bring her out to enjoy it,” said Clarice Harris. “This is her first time at a water park but we wanted bring her out so she could enjoy herself.”

The Harris family was part of the crowds of hundreds of people who came to The BEACH at International Park this weekend for its first opening day in two years. The water park was closed last year because of construction issues related to a renovation of the water park.

International Park Administrator Troy Stubbs said the opening day crowds were not as big as officials had hoped for, but he added that everything went well on opening day.

“Being closed last year has really hurt our attendance but we just have to get the word out more that we’re open again and we’ll be fine,” said Stubbs.

But many die-hard fans of the park knew about its re-opening and made sure they were there for day one. Like the Harris’, many of the attendees were families who came out to enjoy a fun day together.

Smyrna resident Marie Davis brought her daughters, Journee, Destinee and Heaven Ross, to The BEACH to continue a tradition of coming out every year when it is open.

Davis’ daughters took to the stage with The Contagious Band at one point to dance to a cover of Salt-N-Pepper’s “Push It.”

“We love coming here and we’re probably going to be back several times this summer,” said Davis.

Some area residents made use of opening day as an opportunity to get their extended families together for Memorial Day weekend reunions. One mother and son pair who came to the park for that reason was Kansas City residents Tekoyia Trice and her 10-month old son Christian Trice.

While their relatives played in the main pool, the mother and son pair sat on the beach and built sand castles. Christian Trice patted his hands on the sand as they went along.

“I’m really enjoying it here,” Tekoyia Trice said. “We’ve seen a lot of the sites around Atlanta so far, but this has probably been the most fun.”