Pulling out all the stops: Sulphur Parks and Recreation celebrating 75th year anniversary

Published 7:44 am Sunday, September 3, 2023

Sulphur Parks and Recreation (SPAR) is pulling out all the stops to mark its 75th year anniversary. Saturday, Sept.16, the public – not just Sulphur residents in the district – can join in the fun, games and other events designed for all ages and all levels of fitness at Frasch Park, 400 Picard Road. The day will be filled with shopping from over 70 vendors and food trucks. Enjoy free fitness demonstrations. Play fun games. Play to win. Get safety tips from the men and women in blue. Learn about the distinctive history of SPAR.

“We are happy to be celebrating our 75th anniversary with the community,” said Laurie Koelzer, SPAR executive director. “The support provided by our residents, Police Jury, City of Sulphur, board members and directors over the years has been phenomenal, providing vision and true love for our park system.”

Play, Koezler said, isn’t just for children. It has power for all ages and it’s not a luxury but a necessity. The highest form of research, favorite way to learn, beginning of knowledge, creation of something new are not accomplished by the intellect but by the play instinct.

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“That’s why, over the years SPAR has grown and developed facilities and recreation programs for all ages,” she said.

This program brings the community together at the same location where families would gather back in 1948 – Frasch Park.

“We are looking forward to celebrating 75 years of service to our community and we are looking forward to many more years of providing recreation, play and overall healthy living,” Koezler said. “The same park grounds, ball fields and gyms that children play on today are the ones their great grandparents and parents played on as children. Our parks are where generational memories are made, and we hope people will come out to the event and share their memories of growing with SPAR.”

From 8 a.m. until noon, browse over 70 vendors showcasing produce, homemade goods, crafts and more. The Farmers/Venor Market will be located directly north of the sand volleyball courts, behind the old Frasch pool house.“Thanks to the Calcasieu Parish Office of Human Services support, residents will be able to shop – at a reduced cost – at the Second Harvest Food Bank truck, Produce will arrive at 10 a.m. and remain on site until noon. Food trucks include Gumbo Extravaganza On Da Geaux and Cowboy Sno Cones.

It wouldn’t be a SPAR celebration without recreation, right? This party has plenty. Find the fun and games for kids of all ages throughout Frasch Park. Sporting games will include football, speed throws, tennis, basketball under the pavilion, sand court volleyball and more.  including a four-ball 75th tournament.

Register for Golf

Register for the 75th Anniversary Four-Ball Tournament and receive a commemorative golf ball with the anniversary logo, along with a goody bag of items. The entry fee is $40 for Frasch Golf Members and $45 for nonmembers. Register at the pro shop or by calling 337-527-2515.

SPAR’s amazing instructors will be holding free Yoga and Boot Camp fitness classes.

The City of Sulphur Fire and Police Departments will be on hand with information for all ages on fire prevention and safety. SPAR didn’t forget the bookworms, either. The Henning Cultural Center will display SPAR photos and memorabilia, including important milestones in SPAR’s history.

The recreation district was created by state statute in 1948 to serve Sulphur, Westlake, Maplewood and Mossville.  In the 1950s, facilities served a few thousand people, in the 1960s over one-half million and in the 2000s, one million. Park land holdings expanded from the first 90 acre donation in 1952 to the over 500 acres it has today that includes Carlyss, Centercircle, Maplewood Commons, Kyle Street and Frasch Parks. McMurry Park has been the host site for the LHSAA Championships since 2012. The North Frasch Softball Complex has been hosting the LHSAA State High School FastPitch 54 Softball Championship since 2001. Pattison Complex is a ten field baseball/softball park. Other SPAR facilities and parks include Fideaux Field, Henning Cultural Center, The Grove at Heritage Square, Frasch Golf Course and the Recreation & Aquatic Center and the Waterpark, which opened in 2005.