By Janis Fontaine
Grab the kids’ swimsuits and the sunscreen, and head to Oceanfront Park on Nov. 19 for “Play Outdoors Unplugged: Looney Dunes Beach Party.”
Once a month, the city suspends parking fees at one of Boynton’s parks and stages an “unplugged” event to attract more people — in this case, families — to that destination. For November, Wally Majors, director of Boynton Beach Recreation and Parks, chose Oceanfront Park.
The park is 12 acres in Ocean Ridge and has barbecue grills, benches, a bike rack, concessions, covered pavilions, picnic tables, a playground, restrooms, and a beach volleyball court.
During the fun morning, children may also enjoy volleyball, Wiffle ball, slip-n-slides and a bounce house.
“We also set up games, and have Frisbee-tossing contests and relay races,” Ocean Rescue chief Tom Mahady said. “The kids play a game kind of like dodge ball but with super soakers.”
Snacks and water will be provided for the event, but participants can bring their own cooler or purchase snacks at the Sand Dollar Café, where they can also rent beach chairs, umbrellas and beach toys.
The event is expected to draw a few hundred people, Mahady said, but it’s definitely weather-dependent. It could be a cold November day or perfect beach weather.
Because safety is the most important component of any beach event, if the water is too rough, event offerings will be limited accordingly. “We’d love to do stand-up paddleboard instruction but that drains our manpower,” Mahady said.
Mahady, who has been working for Boynton Beach Recreation and Parks for 15 years, says living here is “like living next to the fountain of youth.”
He likes talking to visitors and he acts as a liaison between the public and city officials.
Mahady said that residents have great suggestions that he would love to implement if the budget had enough money. “But I have to work within the budget I’ve been given,” he said.
Nevertheless, the beach party is “a pretty good event,” he said. “A fun day.”
IF YOU GO
Play Outdoors Unplugged: Looney Dunes Beach Party: 9-11 a.m. Nov. 19, at Oceanfront Park, 6415 N Ocean Blvd., Ocean Ridge.
Games, relay races, surf, sand. Bring sunscreen. Snacks and water provided.
Free event parking.
The park is open and guarded by lifeguards from 9 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. every day.
Info: 742-6237; www.Boynton-beach.org