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New water park opens June 29, river float down June 30
YUMA, ARIZONA - Summer in Yuma will get a whole lot cooler this weekend, as a brand-new water park splashes down in the sunniest city on earth and the community turns out for a massive "float down" on the Colorado River - topped off by a free outdoor movie in the heart of the historic Yuma Crossing.
Featuring the largest "constrictor" water slide in the country, Waylon's Water World is set to debut Friday (June 29). The new park also features 14 other water slides from wild to mild, a ginormous lazy river and special water play areas for both active older kids and their toddler brothers and sisters.
Waylon's Water World is "a full-fledged water park that is going to knock your socks off," according to spokesman Jay Walker. Walker also said owners Brice and Becky Zeller have big plans for expansion in coming seasons - and to operate for six to eight months a year, depending on the weather.
Announced hours are 10 a.m. to 30 minutes before dusk seven days a week through October. Prices are set to be family friendly, an all day pass for children under 42 inches and seniors, 65 and older is only $20. All day general admission is $25 and toddlers ages 3 and under are free. A half day pass starts at 2:00 PM and for children under 42 inches and seniors, 65 and older is only $14. Half-day general admission is only $18 and of course toddlers ages 3 and under are free. 2012 season passes are available and include July, August, September and October for only $100. Large group passes are also available, please contact the office at (928) 726-6000 for assistance with large groups.
The new water park adjoins Z Fun Factory, a family entertainment center the Zellers purchased last year. Open 365 days a year, Z Fun Factory features year-round activities for all ages, including 36 holes of miniature golf, bumper boats, go-karts and a state of the art video game arcade. Together, the two entertainment facilities occupy about 24 acres, and the Zellers have just acquired 40 additional acres for future expansion.
For those who prefer their water natural and their floating unfettered, the Cabelleros de Yuma will host a massive community "float down" on the Colorado River through the heart of the historic Yuma Crossing beginning at 8 a.m. Saturday (June 30).
The Territorial River Regatta is the modern incarnation of an old Yuma tradition that flourished through the '60s and '70s but went "underwater" for a couple of decades until the Caballeros revived it last year.
"It's a casual, great, fun day on the river to meet up with old friends, meet new friends, hang out, and celebrate being in Yuma on the great resource we have - the Colorado River," said Caballeros' Regatta Chairman Page Misenhimer in a recent Yuma Sun interview.
The Regatta begins at the confluence of the Gila and Colorado rivers upstream from the historic Yuma Crossing and welcomes pretty much whatever floats, from individual tubes to decorated floats up to 8 feet x 8 feet in size. Various prizes will be awarded for floats in categories including best nonprofit, best business and best overall.
Floaters will debark at West Wetlands Park, downstream from the historic North End (enter off First Street at 12th or 22nd avenues). Depending on river flows and other conditions, the float usually takes about three hours, but all "official" regatta services will end at 3 p.m. whether you're ashore or not.
All participants in the Territorial River Regatta must register individually ($5 cost), sign a release and wear a numbered wristband. All floaters under 18 years old must have a parent or guardian's signature on their registration form; those younger than 15 also must be accompanied on the river by a parent or guardian. ID is required, no glass allowed on the river or at West Wetlands Park, and participants are encouraged to wear a Coast Guard-approved life jacket, to use sunscreen and to carry and drink plenty of water. Call the Caballeros' "hotline" at (928) 276-4803 or click here for more information, an entry form and a map.
And if that isn't enough family fun to kick off your Independence Day celebrations, Yuma Parks and Recreation Department also will offer a free showing of the movie "Hugo" on the shores of the Colorado Saturday evening (June 30). Bring a blanket or lawn chairs and enjoy this family-friendly (rated PG) multi-Oscar winner under the stars!
The screening begins at 8:45 p.m. in Gateway Park (259 South Gila Street) and concessions will be available, but coolers and alcohol are not permitted. For more information, call Parks and Recreation at 928-373-5243 or email email@example.com.
The Caballeros de Yuma, Inc., is a nonprofit organization that has been welcoming visitors and sponsoring special events in the Yuma area since 1962. Its Colorado River Crossing Balloon Festival (November) and Midnight at the Oasis classic car show (March) are among Yuma's premiere annual events. For more information, call 928-343-1715, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.caballeros.org.
Yuma Visitors Bureau markets the Yuma area within the travel and tourism industry and to the general public. Don't forget that though Arizona's official "birthday" has passed, our bold Centennial offer still stands: guests at participating Yuma hotels eat free every day the sun doesn't shine - through July 31 of this year! Get more info & download a visitors guide at visityuma.com.
A longtime favorite with sun-seeking snowbirds, Yuma's population nearly doubles in the winter months, thanks to more than 23,000 spots in RV parks and resorts. The community also offers nearly 4,000 hotel rooms, conference and meeting facilities, and three casinos. For more details about Yuma's year-round attractions, special events - and the rarely "cloudy with a chance of tacos" forecast* - visit www.visityuma.com or call 800-293-0071.
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For more information, contact Linda Morgan at 928-376-0100 (office), email email@example.com. Thanks for your interest in the Yuma area.