Posts tagged “Beachy Central Park

Splash pads open Sunday at Central, Tarrow parks

By Jackie Rangel, Parks & Recreation Marketing Assistant

When I was a little girl in Houston, we loved trying to keep our balance as cold water splashed on our heads from the filled buckets at a city splash pad. I fondly remember the laughs, giggles, and fun.

Oh, to be a kid again!

Children love splash pads, especially when their parents join them, so slip on your swimsuit and slather on the sunscreen — the City of College Station’s splash pads open Sunday!

With the chill of winter starting to move out and spring approaching, we know you’re more than ready for the fun and exhilaration of tipping buckets, weeping water, and the directional spray areas at our pads at W.A. Tarrow Park and the Fun for All Playground at Beachy Central Park. They’re open daily from 8 a.m.-9 p.m.

Be advised that no lifeguards are on duty, so you must supervise your children. Pets, food, glass objects, alcohol, smoking, vaping, and tobacco are prohibited. We don’t allow toys, skateboards, rollerblades, skates, bikes, scooters, or similar equipment, either.

For more information, contact us at 979-764-3486 or


About the Blogger

Jackie has worked for the Parks and Recreation Department for almost six years. She’s an active volleyball mom and serves as a referee in our adult volleyball league.


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Improvements on the way at Central, Bee Creek parks

By Kelly Kelbly, Assistant Parks and Recreation Director

Abolitionist Frederick Douglass once wrote, “If there is no struggle, there is no progress.” A true application of that statement is dealing with construction projects in our community parks.

A prime example is the struggle you may encounter at Stephen C. Beachy Central Park and Bee Creek Park in the coming months. Next week, construction crews will begin demolishing the Central Park pavilion, restrooms, and athletic shed, as well as the Bee Creek restrooms. Reconstruction of the facilities should be finished by late fall.

The brief inconvenience will be worth it. When the project’s complete, you’ll have beautiful, functional facilities for your visits to these popular parks.

At Central, you’ll have more climate-controlled restrooms, a new kitchen to rent, and a larger pavilion footprint that allows for more seats and foot traffic. The athletic shed will also have more climate-controlled restrooms and additional seats. At Bee Creek, user groups and park patrons will enjoy more restrooms in the structure nearest the ball fields.

The parking lots may be closed at times during construction, but we encourage you to continue to use the parks. And don’t worry — ample porta potties will be available.


About the Blogger

Assistant Director Kelly Kelbly is in her 19th year with the College Station Parks & Recreation Department. A native of Gilmer, Kelly is a 1998 graduate of Texas A&M.


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Bright lights of Christmas in the Park start Nov. 28

By Kelly Kelbly, Parks & Recreation Assistant Director

If you’re like me, you struggle with putting out Christmas decorations when your last guest leaves at Thanksgiving.

That’s not the case with the bright and colorful lights that go up for the city’s annual Christmas at the Park.

For more than 30 years, Parks and Recreation crews have spent 6-8 weeks each fall installing the lights and hand-crafted panels at Stephen C. Beachy Central Park. That means the effort begins in early October, long before you even thaw your Thanksgiving turkey.

The crews diligently work around fall leagues and events to transition the park into a lighted winter wonderland.  They toil in the heat, cold, rain — and sometimes ice — to ensure a radiant and festive glow when we flip the switch on Thanksgiving Day.

The centerpiece is the Tower of Power, a 90-foot tall Christmas Tree adorned with 14,000 shimmering lights. Thanks to a generous donation by the Britt Rice family, the popular ritual of spinning beneath the giant tree continues.

We also encourage you to take your family’s traditional drive through the 60 strands of lights that frame Santa’s Lane. The only nights that won’t be available are on Christmas in the Park event weekends Dec. 6-7 and Dec. 13-14. We’ll close the drive-thru at 7 a.m. on event days to keep everyone safe as we set-up for visits with Santa, hayrides, and of course, hot chocolate and cookies.

Shuttles will run from 5-10 p.m. from the Post Oak Mall parking lot (JC Penny side) to the park. Handicap parking will be at the park’s softball complex, which is accessible from State Highway 6.

You can still walk through the 36 snowflakes in Snowflake Forest, take pictures in front of the 36-foot lighted paddleboat, and wander along the tunnel on the back trail.

For many local families, Christmas in the Park has become a holiday institution. The Parks & Recreation family invites you to continue the tradition and create new and lasting memories.


About the Blogger

Assistant Director Kelly Kelbly is in her 18th year with the College Station Parks & Recreation Department. A native of Gilmer, Kelly is a 1998 graduate of Texas A&M.


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4 new twists for Christmas in the Park

By Kelli Nesbitt, Parks & Recreation Marketing Coordinator

Now that the colorful holiday lights are on in Stephen C. Beachy Central Park, it’s time for consecutive weekends of fun at the City of College Station’s Christmas in the Park.

The first activities are Friday and Saturday from 6-10 p.m. at Beachy Central Park, followed by the second weekend Dec. 7-8.

In its 35th year, the annual Christmas event promises to be even better with an additional weekend of festivities, a pair of snow slides, a mobile stage, and a full slate of family-friendly experiences. As usual, you can also enjoy free hot cocoa and cookies, pictures with Santa, hayrides, performances by local song and dance groups, and more.

Christmas in the Park has evolved from a tiny idea and small light display in 1984 into a beloved community tradition. During those years, we tried a lot of different things. Some worked well, and others failed. Here are four new twists we’re trying out in 2018:

  1. Recreation Drive will close from 4-10 p.m. and visitors will be unable to drive through the park. Shuttles will run from 5:30-10:30 p.m. from the Post Oak Mall parking lot (JCPenney side). Handicap parking will be located at the Beachy Central Park softball complex, which can be accessed from State Highway 6.
  2. Free wristbands are required to participate in activities, including the hayride, snow slides, arts and crafts, joy jumps, train, petting zoo, and photos with Santa. To receive a wristband, you must complete a waiver form at an information booth.
  3. A professional photographer is no longer provided for photos with Santa, but you are encouraged to bring your camera to capture the moment. Pets aren’t allowed.
  4. Because of the construction of the Fun for All Playground, our 90-foot-tall Christmas tree has been relocated along Recreation Lane. The new spot has plenty of room to continue the tradition of spinning beneath the giant Tower of Power.

If you can’t make it out for the Christmas in the Park activity weekends, you can still drive or walk through the park on other nights from 6-11 p.m. through New Year’s Day. Our more than 1 million beautiful lights are always the main attraction.

For more information, go to or call 979-764-3486.


About the Blogger

Kelli Nesbitt (@kneztalk) has served the Parks & Recreation Department for 14 years, the last seven as marketing coordinator. A native of Bryan, Kelli earned a bachelor’s degree in health & kinesiology from Sam Houston State.


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Holiday cheer returns with Christmas in the Park


By Kelly Kelbly, Assistant Parks & Recreation Director

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas – at least in Stephen C. Beachy Central Park!

College Station’s beautiful Christmas in the Park displays began in 1984 with a couple of light panels and funding from a local family. The displays have grown to more than one million lights and have become a holiday mainstay in our community.

This year, the lights will burn nightly from 6-11 p.m. from Nov. 22 through New Year’s Day.

What’s different this year?

Thanks to a generous donation by Britt Rice Electric, the 90-foot-tall Christmas tree – a community favorite with more than 14,000 bulbs – will be relocated along Recreation Lane to accommodate the ongoing construction of the Fun for All Playground. Despite the move, the tradition of spinning beneath the giant Tower of Power will continue.

We also encourage you to continue the tradition of driving through the 60 strands of lights that envelop Santa’s Lane. We’ll close the drive-thru on the weekends of Nov. 30-Dec.1 and Dec.7-8 to keep everyone safe as you visit Santa, go on hayrides and grab free hot chocolate and cookies. On those nights, you can still walk through Snowflake Forest – made up of 36 snowflakes – and take pictures in front of the 36-foot lighted paddle boat.

Thank you, Parks crews!

Our crews work year-round prepping the light panels to ensure they brightly shine when it’s time to switch them on. The hundreds of illuminated panels – a bulb for every inch – must be taped precisely to preserve the panel’s mesmerizing effects. Cemetery Sexton Ron Schaefer, better known around our offices as Father Christmas, manages workers from all park districts throughout the fall to create nothing less than Christmas magic.

We encourage you to enjoy the time-honored tradition of holiday lights at Beachy Central Park. For more information, go to or call 979-764-3486.


kkbioAbout the Blogger

Assistant Director Kelly Kelbly is in her 18th year with the College Station Parks & Recreation Department. A native of Gilmer, Kelly is a 1998 graduate of Texas A&M.


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Live Blog: Thursday’s city council meetings (Oct. 25)

(L-R): Bob Brick, Linda Harvell, Jerome Rektorik, Karl Mooney (mayor), John Nichols, Barry Moore, James Benham.

By Colin Killian, Public Communications Manager

Welcome to our live blog from the College Station City Council’s workshop and regular meetings on Thursday, Oct. 25. It’s not the official minutes.

The meetings can be watched live on Suddenlink channel 19 or online. An archive of previous council meetings is available on the website.

5:12 p.m.

The workshop has started.

Bryan Woods

5:13 p.m.

Woods named City Manager

The council unanimously selected Bryan Woods as College Station’s city manager, effective Dec. 3. He has been New Braunfels’ assistant city manager since 2017.

Woods replaces Kelly Templin, who left last spring to lead the Texas A&M University System’s new RELLIS Campus. Jeff Capps has since served as interim city manager.

Press release: Woods named College Station City Manager

5:14 p.m.

Consent Agenda Discussion

The council will vote on items listed on the consent agenda during tonight’s regular meeting. No items were pulled for workshop discussion.

5:50 p.m.

Dockless Bike Share Update

The council was updated on Texas A&M’s dockless bike share program. The city issued a permit to Ofo, the program’s vendor, on Aug. 23, and revoked it on Oct. 12 after the company lost its auto liability insurance. To be reinstated, Ofo must update its insurance, present rebalancing and communication plans, and replenish its escrow account with the city.

The university will assume operational control and will also seek a new vendor for 2019. The existing 2,300 yellow bikes will be collected, donated, repurposed or recycled at the end of the fall semester.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

6:11 p.m.

BioCorridor Board Powers and Duties

The council discussed the powers and duties of the BioCorridor Board. The consensus was to keep the board in place.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

6:15 p.m.

Mayor Karl Mooney adjourned the workshop after the council discussed its calendar and received committee reports. The regular meeting will start after a short break.

6:28 p.m.

The regular meeting has started.

6:35 p.m.

Brazos Fellowship Church Recognition

Police Chief Scott McCollum and Fire Chief Jonathan McMahan recognized Brazos Fellowship Church for its community service in supporting first responders during a 16-hour standoff with an armed man in August at a local bar and grill.

6:39 p.m.

Municipal Court Week

Mayor Mooney proclaimed Nov. 5-9 as Municipal Court Week in recognition of the importance of municipal courts, the rule of law, and the fair and impartial administration of justice.

6:46 p.m.

Community Planning Month

Mayor Mooney proclaimed October as National Community Planning Month to highlight the important role planning plays in addressing our community’s most daunting challenges, including housing affordability and availability.

6:50 p.m.

Hear Visitors

One person spoke during Hear Visitors when citizens might address the council on any item that doesn’t appear on the posted agenda.

  • Councilman Jerome Rektorik recognized Jeff Capps for his service as interim city manager since March.

6:51 p.m.

Consent Agenda

The council voted unanimously to approve the entire consent agenda:

  • Renewal of a $130,000 award for city-branded uniforms for parks and recreation athletic programs and other city departments with CC Creations ($65,000) and M&M Apparel ($65,000).
  • A $589,787 contract with Marek Brothers Construction for the renovation of the Bob and Wanda Meyer Senior and Community Center (formerly the Arts Council Building).
  • Renewal of the annual award not to exceed $503,214.55 for the blanket purchase of three-phase pad-mounted transformers.
  • An $859,640 annual bid award to Techline for electric distribution poles.
  • A $1.42 million contract with Larry Young Paving for the rehabilitation of parking lots and lighting at Bachmann and Beachy Central parks.
  • Resolutions declaring an intention to reimburse certain expenditures with proceeds from debt for Public Works, General Government, and Wastewater projects in the FY19 Capital Improvements budget.
  • The 2018 Property Tax Roll of $46.99 million.
  • An amended ordinance modifying the location, dates and times for voting in the Nov. 6 general and special election to elect two city council members (places 4 and 6), and to submit to voters five proposed amendments to the city charter.

6:54 p.m.

Easement Abandonment

After a public hearing, the council unanimously approved the abandonment of a 20-foot wide public utility on the State Highway 6 bypass north of Pavilion Avenue to allow for development. No existing city utilities are located in the easement, which has no planned use.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:


7:10 p.m.

Daiquiri Barn Conditional Use Permit

After a public hearing, the council voted 5-2 to approve a conditional use permit for a nightclub, bar or tavern in the shopping center northwest of the Texas Avenue-Southwest Parkway intersection. Councilwoman Linda Harvell and Councilman John Nichols voted against the motion.

The land use request for the Daiquiri Barn included a drive-up window, potential food sales, retail sales, limited interior seating, and alcohol sales for on- and off-site consumption.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

7:33 p.m.

City Hall Construction Manager at Risk

The council unanimously approved a contract with CORE Construction to be the construction manager at risk for the new city hall project.   

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

7:34 p.m.

Groundwater Conservation District Board

The council unanimously appointed Bill Harris to the Brazos Valley Groundwater Conservation District Board of Directors, subject to approval by the Brazos County Commissioners Court.

7:35 p.m.

The council discussed and reviewed future agenda items.

7:35 p.m.

Mayor Mooney adjourned the meeting. The council meets again on Thursday, Nov. 8.


About the Blogger

Colin Killian (@ColinKillian) has been with the City of College Station since 2010 after serving 23 years as associate media relations director for the Texas A&M Athletics Department. Killian has also worked as a reporter and editor for the Corpus Christi Caller-Times and Lewisville News. A native of Hobbs, N.M., he graduated from Texas Tech with a bachelor’s degree in journalism/political science.

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