A free family-filled event is expected to bring out hundreds this weekend for the first Jefferson County Community Fun Day.
Set to kick off Saturday at Martin Luther King Jr. Park in Pine Bluff from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., this highly anticipated event, hosted in association with Youth Engagement Services, will bring together families, businesses and citizens from all over Jefferson County for fun and fellowship, according to County Judge Gerald Robinson.
Saying he was excited to give back to the community, Robinson said this was something he did for many years as sheriff. A variety of activities will be available for youth and children including a fishing derby, rides and games, free food and giveaways.
"When I ran for sheriff I ran on a promise to give to the community and so Sheriff Fun Day was created to bring community and law enforcement together," said Robinson. The event ran for 12 years but ended after Robinson retired.
"Over the years people have been asking me about the fun day and wanting it to come back," he said. "My first term as a judge, I was focused on county finances and getting back on track."
An encounter with Sissy's Log Cabin's Bill Jones, now a member of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, is what sparked the creation of Jefferson County Community Fun Day. Last year, Robinson in collaboration with Jones announced that Jefferson County would be the home to the first canoe trail in the county's history on the world's longest bayou.
Bayou Bartholomew begins near Pine Bluff and flows 359 river miles to the Ouachita River in Sterlington, La.
"We got to talking about the canoe trail and wanting to have a project or annual event to promote that," said Robinson. "Bill knew my experience from Sheriff Fun Day with getting events of this magnitude together and that is how the county fun day came into fruition."
There will be a chance to go home with several prize giveaways from flat-screen TVs to $500 cash and grand prize giveaways of a 2023 650 ATV Renegade and a 70 Renegade.
The fishing derby will start at 8 a.m. with cash prizes.
Carnival rides and games will begin at 10 a.m.
"This is our way of the county giving back to the community," said Robinson. "They don't have to pay a dime. They already pay our salaries with taxes and we just want the community to come out for some good fun, free food and build strong positive relationships."