Grand Prairie—Fishing is one way parents or guardians can bond with their children. The baiting of a hook, casting a line into the water, and reeling in a fish, help create memories which can last a lifetime. That happened at Mike Lewis Park in Grand Prairie during Kid’s Fishing Day on Feb. 12.
Families could free of charge, use loaner rods and reels and even be provided with bait, put a line in the water and try to catch a catfish or two from the fully stocked pond.
Of course, whether any fish were caught was not important on this wintry Saturday morning. The event was all about spending time with family and bonding over a shared activity.
Grand Prairie resident Ray Ramirez was there with his wife and two children and felt despite the frigid weather, it was a perfect time to leave the house with his family.
“The weather could be a little better, but you know how Texas is,” Ramirez said.“I think we’re expecting some snow flurries later on. This is a time for the kids to come out and really enjoy the moment even though the weather’s kind of chilly. Couldn’t do anything better than just being out here with the kids.”
The weather on Saturday, when temperatures hovered at or below 40 degrees and with potential snow flurries in the forecast with a blustery wind, was not exactly conducive to a nice turnout for this event.However, more than a few area families braved the elements.
“We have a lot of people coming out,”Kellie McAliney, special events specialist for Grand Prairie Parks, Arts and Recreation, said.“It’s about 30 degrees, and we have tons of families coming out for the kids.They can borrow fishing rods, weights, bait.
“Families love to come here and be part of the community. They’ll come during rain, shine, or even cold. We have a good community and they’re here supporting us.”
Families participating could either bring their own fishing rods and bait or use one of the loaner rods provided by the event organizers. Members of the Grand Prairie Parks, Arts and Recreation department’s maintenance team doled out the loaner rods and providedcanned corn as bait.
“We have our park maintenance guys [helping out],” McAliney said. “They’re putting the rods together and the weights and the bobbers. They love doing it for the kids and the families. We love doing it too.”
There was a great mix of parents and children; all properly bundled up and sharing a singular goal-havinga good time.
Parents were quick to give sage advice in the form of fishing tips to their children, but there was also something fishing is known for, an ample amount of silence while casting a line, reeling it in or just sitting there and taking in the whole scene of families gathered around a pond.
Two things which also defined this event were the healthy amount of laughter and smiles present. Not even the cold weather could dampen the spirits of everyone participating.
“Honestly, it’s the best part of my job, seeing moms and dads and families and communities come together after COVID. I think our community events really bring us together,” McAliney said.
For those who got a little cold, a local coffee company was on hand to dispense hot beverages from its truck.
Several members of the Grand Prairie Police Department mixed and mingled with attendees.
“It’s one of our oldest events. It’s a tradition of ours to have a kid’s fishing day,” McAliney said.