Thousands enjoy free admission at Indy’s ‘Pack the Parks’

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — Families were able to visit any public park or pool they wanted on Saturday for the annual “Pack the Parks” event.

It was a hit, especially among the younger crowd, who got free ice cream from BRICS while they played at Tarkington Park.

“It’s so terrific,” said Linda Barefoot, the Director of Indy Parks. “You know last year, I think we welcomed over 25,000 people just on Pack the Parks day. So I’m kind of hoping for 30 this year. But it’s just an amazing day where folks can get out and try new things at Indy Parks.”

Hundreds of people tried BRICS Ice Cream during a social at Tarkington Park on the north side.

“We had fun today, all in the hot sun,” Angela King said.

King is with the Crown Hill Neighborhood Association Youth, Family and Education Committee. Her group spent time at Tarkington Park.

“Everybody’s at the water play, doing different activities,” King said. “It’s a great park and we love it.”

Adults tell FOX59 they strive for ways for kids to build strong relationships with each other.

“We want to create a community connection of diversity within the mid-north area,” King explained.

Leaders with the City of Indianapolis have made a concerted effort to curb teen violence this summer. They plan to hire two people to become peacemakers who will then work to connect at-risk youth with services and mentors. The city has also worked with organizations like the Boys & Girls Club to offer activities too.

“We figure that as long as our young people have good choices to make, that’ll keep them safe and happy all summer long,” Mayor Joe Hogsett said earlier this week during the monthly public safety walk.

For now, kids are soaking up their summer.

“If you can’t have no parks, it’s not going to be a lot of fun cause this is free,” Scott Foor said.

This is surely the first of many hot days. Health care professionals remind everyone to keep water with them and drink it often, wear loose fitting clothing and check on family and friends who live in homes where they don’t have air conditioning.

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