Tracy Jones, Leisure Services
Lynn Haven was established over 100 years ago and today it’s still the quintessential small town in America; a place people choose to raise their families with people that take pride in their community. A strong sense of community is cultivated through local events – family fun that forms bonds and creates lasting memories.
For the last eight years Tracy Jones, along with the staff of Leisure Services, has worked tirelessly to provide good, clean fun for locals. Jones is the city’s Special Event Coordinator and when asked to explain her job duties, she replied, “I specialize in the creation of warm fuzzy moments – the moments in life that give you happiness many years down the road. I enjoy seeing our community come together; old classmates and long lost neighbors. I’m blessed to have the opportunity to plan those moments.”
Thirteen local events are held per year with the July 4th celebration being the largest, attracting several thousand attendees from all over Bay County. “I’ve seen people setting up chairs as early as 5:30 a.m. along Ohio Avenue to secure their spot on the parade route,” said Jones. The annual parade is held on Independence Day, followed by an arts and craft show at Sharon Sheffield Park (SSP), and concluding at A.L. Kinsaul Park with a fireworks show.
Earlier this year the city revived “Back to the Block” Party on Florida Avenue after a hiatus since 2011 and due to its success, it will be held again in May, 2015 complete with food, live music and vendors. Main Street Farmer’s Market is held every Tuesday in SSP from 11:00 a.m. to dusk. The market has grown in size and popularity and is operational from April to December.
The next memory-making opportunity will be at SSP on October 31st from 5:30 – 8:30 p.m. when the City of Lynn Haven hosts “A Very Despicable Halloween Carnival.” Over 500 children participate annually. The event will offer numerous games, a costume contest, and plenty of candy and prizes. “This year should be huge since Halloween is on a Friday coupled with the fact that Lynn Haven First Baptist Church has their "Trunk or Treat" right next door,” said Jones.
On November 22nd SSP will transform into a Winter Wonderland – a unique shopping extravaganza kicking off the holiday season with merchants and performances by the Ukulele Orchestra of St. Andrews. “I expect this Winter Wonderland to be the largest ever. We already have over 50 vendors registered and it’s only mid-October,” said Jones.
Long hours, dedication and attention to detail are required to plan and host successful local events. Jones explains, “Our Leisure Services team is amazing and includes members from our community, community organizations and city employees – without their help, the events couldn’t happen. We have a great team!”
Jones, originally from Wisconsin, moved here 13 years ago with her three children and has spent the last eleven years as a City of Lynn Haven employee.
For more information on local events visit www.cityoflynnhaven.com or go to facebook (City of Lynn Haven).