Opelika’s Bandy Park recently received numerous renovations, adding new features and improving existing ones. These improvements will be showcased at the Ward 2 Family Fun Day scheduled for Saturday, May 26. The event will also feature a ribbon cutting and a ceremony rededicating the park to its namesake, Rep. George C. Bandy.
The park’s basketball courts received the most attention, now sporting a new surface, new backboards, new goals and new fencing. In addition to the courts, a new walking track was installed around the perimeter of the park, a picnic shelter was installed near the playground and the bathrooms received a fresh coat of paint.
“These changes have been really important to Ward 2,” said Opelika City Councilwoman Tiffany Gibson-Pitts. “I think when people ride by and see the park it inspires them and makes them feel good. It’s like the pride is coming back to the neighborhood.”
The Ward 2 Family Fun Day will begin 11:30 a.m., with the ribbon cutting and rededication ceremony beginning at 12 p.m. Basketball games are scheduled for 2 p.m., the community slide will open at 3 p.m. and live musical entertainment will begin at 4 p.m. The event will also feature free food, inflatables, horseback riding and senior bingo.
“The event takes place on Memorial Day weekend and the day after graduation, so we wanted to create a celebratory atmosphere,” said Gibson-Pitts. “Churches, families, social clubs and graduating classes can RSVP for a space to bring a tent. Everyone is invited, whether you live in Ward 2 or not.”
Gibson-Pitts was the catalyst for the Bandy Park renovation. After being elected in 2016, she began reaching out to the community for input on Bandy Park. She took those recommendations to city officials and was able to secure funding for the projects.
Our city has always been very good at recognizing areas that are in need, and Bandy Park was certainly in need,” said Sam Bailey, director of parks and recreation. “We have been excited to be a part of the group that has updated Bandy Park to the point it is now.”
Along with Opelika Parks and Recreation, ESG Operations of Opelika and city administrators worked together to plan, fund and install all of the renovations at Bandy Park.
Gibson-Pitts is not done with Bandy Park. She has more ideas for the future that she hopes will further her mission to make the neighborhood a coveted place to live. Through the Ward 2 Academy at the Opelika Learning Center and through Bandy Park, Gibson-Pitts is creating an educational and recreational hub for Ward 2.
For more information on this event, please visit www.opelikaparks.com.