BILOXI -- There's no better way to start the summer than with a good splash.
That's what the Friends of Hiller Park thought, and they made it happen.
A big crowd of children were splashing down water slides and squirting each other with water guns Saturday morning during the park's Family Fun Day.
"The kids love it," said Charlotte Davis of the Friends. "Look at this faces."
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The group, which raises money to pay for improvements at the park, has gotten enough to buy $25,000 of new playground equipment to replace the old playground. Parks and Recreation Department Director Cheryl Bell said she has contractors lined up to install the gear for free.
An IP Casino grant will contribute $12,000 for a toddler playground.
Bell said she hopes to get the work done by mid-June.
There is also an ongoing project to install sidewalks and a canoe/kayak launch pad on the west side of the park. The $80,000 for that construction is coming from the state Tidelands Fund.
"Our goal is to build community, to build awareness of the park," said Shirley Lovelace of the Friends.