The city of Harker Heights invited the community to enjoy a fun-filled evening at Carl Levin park to celebrate July as national Park and Recreation month.

“We just want to make people aware of the parks,” said Dorian Evans, Harker Heights activities specialist. “These parks mean a lot to the community and ... I don’t think people realize all of the things our beautiful parks have to offer.”

Carl Levin Park as well as other parks in the area like Purser Family Park and Harker Heights Community Park offer a variety of activities for the whole family. Visitors can enjoy activities like walking trails, catch-and-release fishing, exercise equipment and various playgrounds.

“I know this park is very popular and people plan events here all the time,” said Eunice Meyers from Killeen, who visited the event with her two daughters, Isla, 4, and Celina, 3. “We love fishing, the girls love fishing, it’s a real family activity.”

The July 12 event added even more activities to the usual repertoire, showing visitors how parks offer a “A Lifetime of Discovery.”

“I think it’s a great event for families and I like that every tent has some sort of interaction with the crowd to get people engaged,” Meyers said.

Games like giant Jenga and Cornhole as well as bounce houses, food trucks and vendors made the evening fun for all ages.

Eleven-year-old Christina Watt was happy about a summer evening full of games.

“It’s something fun to do during the summer,” she said. She was looking forward to more events like these to stay busy during school break.

Local businesses including Martial Zen, Pet Adoption Center, The Green Plant, Jump City, Fort Hood Housing and Ace Dental put up booths with games, goodies and information for the community.

“It’s a great way to get the community to interact ... with each other and to find out about new companies that we didn’t know about,” said Nikole Kresini from Killeen.

Due to rising temperatures, the event was held from 6 to 10 p.m.

“It is very hot so that’s why we decided to do it in the evening and then we show a movie once it is dark in the park,” Evans said.

The family movie “Jumanji” was played at the amphitheater free of charge.

“It’s wonderful that the city organizes stuff like this,” said Sandra Hoshaw, who visited the event with her 2-year-old granddaughter Tynleigh Thomson.

Bri Johnson came all the way from Temple to discover Carl Levin Park with her husband and two daughters.

“This is our first time at this park and it’s just perfect for the kids,” she said. “We definitely want to come back soon and check out the pool.”

Carl Levin Park offers an Aquatics Center with a shaded kid’s area as well as adult swim. Children can also participate in swim classes during the summer.

Locals can look forward to more fun activities planned in the near future.

“We have the farmers market that is every Saturday through October at Seton Medical Center from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. … and have a back-to-school rally, which will take place in August,” Evans said. “This is just what we do — we plan events ... for everybody to enjoy throughout the year.”

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