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Official Ceremony Marks Cooper Lake State Park 25th Anniversary

Enjoying outdoor weather during Autumn is special at Cooper Lake Park, and making this October more special than most is the Park’s 25th Anniversary Celebration. Officially opened to the public in 1996, Cooper Lake State Park is one of the newest parks in the vast Texas State Park system. The public is invited to enjoy the park for free during the festivities planned on Friday, Oct. 15 and Saturday, Oct. 16.

The official 25th Anniversary Ceremony began at 10 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 15, 2021, on the Delta County side of the park at the Doctor’s Creek Unit. Headlining speakers included the Texas State Park Director Rodney Franklin, also Hopkins County Judge Robert Newsom,  the City of Cooper Texas Mayor Darren Braddy, and Army Corps of Engineer Lake Manager Matt Seavey, among others. The public was invited and refreshments were provided by the Friends of Doctors Creek, Inc. Park Complex Superintendent Steve Killian offers a special thanks to Cooper ISD and North Hopkins ISD for event support. The Cooper High School Jazz Band was on hand to play during the opening ceremony.

Later Friday, Main Street Community Theatre of Sulphur Springs is scheduled to host a theatrical production.  This performance will begin at 7 p.m. on the Hopkins County side of the park at the South Sulphur Unit, on the amphitheater stage located near the Honey Creek Day Use Area. The productionm titled “Community Players Variety Show,”  will be presented free of charge. Those planning to attend should plan to arrive early in order to secure the best seating.

More 25th anniversary festivities will continue from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, October 16. A variety of family-friendly events and displays will be provided at the South Sulphur Unit. This will include guided hikes, a visit with water safety dog  “Bobber,” educational programs about the flora and fauna of the park, plus a quick course on boater safety and a chance to visit with a TPWD game warden, and much more. The NETDOGS Dutch Oven Cooks will demonstrate outdoor cooking and prepare some tasty treats for visitors to sample, while the Buffalo Soldiers of Texas Parks and Wildlife Dept. share the outdoor history of this part of Texas.

Saturday night, Oct. 16, the park will host the Reilly Springs Jamboree Band and Enola Gay, with special musical guests, from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. The location is the Gulls Bluff Boat Ramp Parking Area. The 25th celebration will conclude with classic country music on the banks of Cooper Lake State Park. All are invited to the park for the concert under the stars in lawn chairs or from a boat on the lake. Bring along dancing boots, refreshments and snacks to enjoy. Remember, alcohol is not allowed.

Special thanks is also extended to the Friends of Doctors Creek, Inc., for supporting this musical concert and all the events of the 25th Anniversary Celebration at Cooper Lake State Park.

Author: Enola Gay

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