Waterparks Open to the Public Mother’s Day Weekend
Moms are the heart of every household. They know what we need before we even ask. And they rarely ask for anything in return. To honor them, Hawaiian Falls Waco is inviting Moms to enjoy complimentary admission Mother’s Day weekend when the waterparks open to the public.
Photos by David Alvey
In addition to free admission, Moms will receive a special Hawaiian-themed gift (while supplies last) Saturday, May 13 and Sunday, May 14.
“We’re inviting mothers of all ages to come enjoy a day at the park to thank them for their selfless roles as cook, chauffeur, activity director, nurse, and countless other tasks they do for their families,” said Hawaiian Falls Marketing Director Ron Mckenzie. “We want Moms to enjoy a carefree day where others can wait on her. Float down the Lazy River and feel the stress melt away or recline in the shade and enjoy a cold drink while Dad races the kids down a slide. We want Mom to take away memories she’ll never forget.”
Hawaiian Falls will officially kick off the summer season with free admission to all active duty and retired military personnel with a valid Military ID Memorial Day Weekend, May 26 – May 29. The parks will be open daily beginning Friday, May 26.
Other special events planned throughout the summer include:
- Father’s Day weekend – Dads get in free June 17 – 19
- Champions Day – June 20 and July 22 Champions (individuals with special needs) and their families will have exclusive access to the park from 9 am -10 am. Champions tickets are FREE and family companion tickets are only $10 (limit 4).
- World’s Largest Swimming Lesson – June 22
- Independence Day weekend – Active duty and retired military personnel as well as first responders receive free admission.
- Aloha Fest – July 15 in Roanoke, July 22 in Mansfield, and July 29 in Waco.
- Family Fun Fridays throughout July with Ohana Games led by Hawaiian Falls Activity Director.
Season passholders can visit their home park to process their passes from 4 p.m. – 6 p.m. May 8 – 12 at the park’s front gate.
Hawaiian Falls Waterparks are located in Mansfield, Roanoke and Waco. More information about special events, operating hours, directions, tickets and season passes, are at hfalls.com.
By Natalie Galindo
The Waco Convention Center is turning 50 years old in 2022. A come-and-go reception will be held 3-6 p.m. Jan. 26, in the center’s Brazos Ballroom. Remarks and a retrospective of the center’s history will take place at 4 p.m. The public is invited. Light refreshments will be served.
The convention center’s original grand opening celebration took place in January 1972 and featured a week’s worth of entertainment, with top headliner Peter Nero. The original building, consisting of a much smaller footprint and cost almost $2.6 million to build.
In 1988, McLennan Hall, Bosque Theater, and DeCordova Rooms were added to accommodate larger events, at a cost of $1.2 million.
The building enjoyed a $17-million top to bottom renovation in 2012, which added a new wraparound foyer for McLennan Hall, more lobby space, escalators, and more.
“The Waco Convention Center has been the place for so many Wacoans to make memories over the years,” said Dan Quandt, Waco’s interim conventions and tourism director. “Weddings, graduation ceremonies, quinceañeras, dances, and of course conventions have all been held here. These events become part of our lifelong memories. We look forward to serving Waco for the next fifty years and beyond.”
The public is invited to share their memories through photos of events held at the Waco Convention Center over the years, for possible inclusion in the slide show. Please visit wacocc.com/share-your-memories or drop them by in person at the Waco Convention Center, 100 Washington Avenue. Offices are on the right inside the main doors. For more information, contact Carla Pendergraft, (254) 750-5806.
The Waco Convention Center is a department of the City of Waco.
The Act Locally Waco blog publishes posts with a connection to these aspirations for Waco. If you are interested in writing for the Act Locally Waco Blog, please email the ALW team — [email protected].
By Ferrell Foster
My post the other day about The Silos brought to my attention a 2014 Waco Tribune-Herald story by J.B. Smith about those now famous silos. (Thank you, Ashley Bean Thornton.)
It seems that seven years ago this month there was some real uncertainty about the silos’ paint job, or lack of one. The Waco Downtown Development Corp. had originally given the go ahead for the Chip and Joanna Gaines project but with the understanding that the silos would be painted.
That rebuke of rust went to the Tax Increment Financing Zone board in October 2014. Chip (may I be so familiar) was not giving up on his rust. He told the board the silos “are impeccable and fashionable and interesting as they are,” the Trib reported.
The TIF board punted the aesthetic question back to the DDC, which led to a tour of the site guided by Waco’s First Couple (that being the Gaineses). DDC Chair Willard Still was skeptical going in. An hour later, he was convinced.
“We believe their plan will be a substantial improvement that the community will embrace,” the Trib reported Still saying. “They have a very sensible plan, and we embraced it.
“I have to give credit to Joanna Gaines. She has good taste, and that’s a proven product.”
Truer words have not been said. If Joanna walked into my home and said, “Ferrell, your favorite reading chair has got to go,” I would hesitate big time. She might reply, “I know you love that chair, but what if we got you a new chair that is better for your back, is loved by readers everywhere, and will make your study look like the most wonderful place in the world.” I would buckle quickly; it would be Joanna talking.
There are some people in town who are not big fans of the downtown boom fueled by Magnolia, but I’m not one of them. Not all development is good, but this one, I think, has been good for Waco.
We might wonder what would have happened if a paint job had been required and the Gaineses had pulled out the paint sprayers or hired professionals. We will never know, but I’m sticking with Joanne when it comes to good taste. She is the one-woman show (sorry Chip) that almost single-handedled revived the popularity of shiplap.
I’m thankful for the Gaineses and The Silos this Thanksgiving season. Just imagine this: What if they had done their thing in Austin or Temple or Hillsboro? We would be so jealous, and jealousy is not good for the soul. So may we all have a very Magnolia Thanksgiving — full of good taste all around, and I’m not just talking about style.
Ferrell Foster is senior specialist for care and communication with Prosper Waco.
By Ferrell Foster
My wife visited The Silos before we moved here. People flock to The Silos and talk about The Silos all the time. This weekend I finally asked my wife for more details. It went something like this:
“So, what’s in The Silos? Is it a store? Are there multiple levels in The Silos where people shop?
She looked at me with an odd expression. “I don’t think there’s anything in the actual silos.”
Am I the only person in Waco or Texas or the world, who didn’t realize that when people are going to The Silos, they are not really going inside the silos?
I feel really stupid. I don’t get out of the house much, but I don’t usually feel as clueless as I did in this conversation. I understand The Silos to be about stuff — as in stuff to see and stuff to buy. I hear about an old church building on the property, about a redone RV with plants, about stuff around the silos. But, do I now have it right that when people talk about going to The Silos, they mean they are going to hang out in the area of the actual silos?
It’s like finding out there really is no tooth fairy or Santa. (This post is not suitable for children.)
So, there’s no tooth fairy, but kids still get money under their pillows (a quarter in my day as a kid). There’s no Santa, but kids still get gifts on Christmas morning. And, there’s nothing in the silos, but The Silos is still a cool place to visit.
I’m OK with all three, but facing reality does take some mental adjustment.
Let’s hear three cheers for tooth fairies who have no wings, Santas who buy presents at a store, and silos that are empty but make a nice, rusty landmark around which to build an enjoyable experience.
Ferrell Foster is senior specialist for care and communication with Prosper Waco.
The City of Waco is pleased to announce three organizational updates: the selection of Monica Sedelmeier as director of communications and marketing, promotion of Kent George to director of economic development, and placement of Dan Quandt as interim director of conventions and tourism.
Sedelmeier will join the City in mid-December in the communications and marketing role (formerly municipal information). Most recently, she worked as chief marketing and quality officer for a healthcare system in Iowa. She brings prior experience from Houston ISD and Rice University. Sedelmeier holds a bachelor’s degree in business and marketing, as well as a master’s in business administration.
George was promoted at the beginning of November. He joined the City in 2018 as an economic development manager. He has more than 18 years of experience in local government, as well as prior experience in the private sector. George holds a bachelor’s degree in business. Throughout his tenure with the City, George has worked on some of Waco’s largest economic development projects to date, including the Marriott AC Hotel, the Riverfront Development, Cottonwood Creek Marketplace, and many industrial projects.
The City worked with SGR to locate and contract with an interim conventions and tourism director. Quandt, a 38-year veteran CVB director, joined the City of Waco Nov. 8. Quandt most recently served as senior vice president of the Amarillo Convention and Visitors Council for the Amarillo Chamber of Commerce. He is also a past chairman of the board for the Texas Association of Convention and Visitors Bureaus and has served as a member of the board of directors for the Texas Travel Industry Association.
Waco City Manager Bradley Ford said: “I am excited to announce the selection of these three individuals for key leadership roles within our organization. Monica brings expertise in both communications and marketing along with strengths in strategic planning and change management, which will be crucial as we look to grow our Communications and Marketing team. The work our Municipal Information team produces is excellent, and we will look to Monica to build upon that team as we implement our strategic communications plan. Kent has worked on many exciting and innovative projects in his time here in Waco. I look forward to the work he will continue to accomplish leading the City’s Economic Development team, including the creation of the City’s new economic development strategic plan. I am thankful we were able to bring Dan on to lead the Conventions and Tourism team in this interim period as we evaluate the Director position posting and the industry market. The experience he brings from the travel and tourism sector is invaluable.”