t’s not necessary to travel far to have fun during spring break. Here are a few local options, with one suggestion on what to avoid doing next week.
Things to do: Library has big break plans for teens, ‘tweens and more
From staff reports
March 11-15 marks spring break for students of Community Christian School, Mineral Wells ISD and all area public schools – and Boyce Ditto Public Library is gearing up for business with its Spring Break Extravaganza.
For those looking for fun for their teens, ‘tweens and younger, here are the Library’s offerings:
• Friday, 5 p.m. – “Wreck it Ralph” movie showing for all ages. No child under the age of 13 will be admitted without a parent or guardian present. Free admission and popcorn.
• Saturday, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. – Teen Anime Day for teens to come and enjoy anime and food with the library’s anime club. Must be 13 or older to attend.
• Tuesday, March 12, 5:30 p.m. – Open Mic Night for all ages. Do you have a talent in music, comedy or poetry? If so, come out and show what you’ve got! Perform or just come to watch all the talented people in your community.
• Wednesday, March 13, 1-4 p.m. – Teen Game Day. Teens, bring your gaming consoles, games and controllers for another game day at the library. Must be 13 or older to be admitted.
• Thursday, March 14: at noon – the Third Annual Teen Food Fear Factor. It’s that time again to come watch participants duke it out for the title of “Food Fear Factor Champion.” If you are interested in participating in the game, please contact Chasity at (940) 328-7880. Only 10 participant spots are available.
At 4 p.m. Thursday, the library will host a Saint Patty’s Art Hour, designed for children ages 3 through 12. Join the library to create some St. Patty’s Day art.
• Friday, March 15: at 2 p.m. – Duct Tape Madness for all ages. Kids will make all kinds of awesome things, such as wallets, flowers and more, from this amazing tape. The library will have duct tape, while supplies last, but feel free to bring some duct tape from home.
At 5 p.m. – “Rise of the Guardians” movie showing. No one under the age of 13 will be admitted without a parent or guardian present. Free admission and popcorn.
• Saturday, March 16, 10 a.m. – Teen Magic Tournament for teens only. Join the library for a Magic the Gathering tournament. A $5 donation will go toward buying pizza for lunch.
Things to do: State park to offer plenty of activities throughout March
By CHRIS AGEE
The Lake Mineral Wells State Park and Trailway is set for a busy March, with a variety of outdoor adventures for spring-break vacationers of all ages.
All of the events offered are free with paid admission to the park. Entrance fee for adults is $5 per person and children under 12 years of age are admitted free.
The fun begins Saturday at 7 p.m. with a program called “Night Sounds.”
Participants can experience the sights and sounds of North Texas nature through live and recorded sounds of creatures including insects, birds, frogs and mammals, while viewing accompanying slides showing the array of wildlife found in this region.
The following Saturday, March 16, park visitors are invited to take part in a study of binocular astronomy.
Beginning at 8 p.m., participants will receive a quick course in binocular use and will even provide loaners for those without their own pair.
Individuals taking advantage of the presentation will enjoy a big, Texas night sky and become more familiar with seasonal constellations and celestial bodies.
The third Saturday event planned for the month is a Kid’s Wilderness Survival course.
Set to begin at 1 p.m. and last until 3:30 p.m., youth participants are led on a fun and informative interactive lesson emphasizing tips to avoid becoming turned around in the woods and steps to take if they ever are lost.
The children will learn through games, presentations and a nature trail hike. The park requires all youth be accompanied by a parent, guardian or youth group leader while on the course.
Participation in the event is limited to the first 25 individuals and those interested can reserve a spot by calling (940) 328-1171.
Finally, park visitors are invited to Storytelling Down in the Holler, which will begin at 7:30 p.m. March 30.
Park Interpreter David Owens will lead the event, which will be held at Penitentiary Hollow and include various stories ranging from fun to frightening.
Whether recounting tales of regional folklore, cowboy poetry or just painting a captivating picture with words, the event promises something for everyone.
Those in the audience are encouraged to bring a blanket or lawn chair.
Something to avoid next week: Local authorities out in force for spring break violators
By CHRIS AGEE
Increased patrol will begin Friday among Department of Public Safety troopers statewide in an effort to crack down on drunk driving during spring break.
These enhanced patrols are made possible through a grant from the Texas Department of Transportation.
The initiative will begin Friday and last until March 17, which is the period DPS has identified as the most active spring break period in Texas.
According to DPS Director Steven McCraw, the agency’s number one objective in increased patrols is to mitigate the danger caused by young, impaired drivers.
“Too frequently people choose to drink and drive during spring break,” McCraw added, “which is an extremely dangerous decision that often leads to senseless tragedy.”
Mineral Wells Police Chief Dean Sullivan agreed with DPS authorities, noting a crackdown on intoxicated drivers emphasizes the risk involved.
“Impaired drivers are of great concern,” he said. “If you’re under the influence and over the limit, the anticipated result will be going to jail.”
He explained everyone is impacted in some way by drunk drivers and urged everyone out drinking during spring break – or any other time – to “do the right thing” and select a PASS, or person appointed to stay sober, to drive everyone home.
“With concerns about popular spring break locations around the border and elsewhere, people might be stay ing home,” Sullivan noted, calling the enhanced trooper patrol “a great initiative.”
During spring break DWI enforcement last year, troopers arrested more than 1,000 impaired drivers. Of that number, an estimated 300 were funded directly through the grant.
Additionally, troopers during that period issued 9,400 speeding tickets, 1,500 seat belt or child-safety-seat tickets, and 12,500 other citations.
Troopers also arrested 545 fugitives and made 402 felony arrests.
“Getting impaired drivers off the roads during spring break is a major priority for the department,” McCray continued, “and we also urge the public to make responsible decisions, such as designating a non-drinking driver or finding alternative transportation if they are impaired.”
During spring break, DPS cautions all drivers to remain alert and remember a few safe driving tips.
Especially in bad weather, heavy traffic, unfamiliar areas and construction areas, authorities urge all drivers to slow down and drive cautiously. Eliminating all distractions – including mobile devices – is another key in avoiding possible collisions.
Before engaging on a spring break tip, DPS encourages all motorists to ensure their vehicles are well maintained and avoid driving while fatigued.
Experts urge all occupants to wear appropriate safety restraints and remind drivers to slow down or move over for tow trucks, police, fire, and EMS vehicles topped on the side of the road with emergency lights activated.
Finally, DPS advised all citizens to avoid travel to Mexico and recommends anyone with plans to visit the country to check the U.S. Department of State website (www.state.gov) for the latest information concerning possible security threats.