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Funday turnout breaks records

A record-breaking crowd turned out for the 10th annual Mayor’s Sunday is Funday.

Organizer Dave Heil of the Kiwanis Club of Rio Rancho said 6,000 people or more, based on admission payments and vendor counts, came to Haynes Park for the event Sunday afternoon. That’s compared to 5,000 attendees last year, when the event was held at the Rio Rancho High School athletic fields.

The number of vendors also broke records, topping 120.

“We all had a great time, and I was excited to see so many people come out and participate,” Mayor Gregg Hull said.

Heil said he’d received positive feedback from attendees and vendors.

“So far, what I’m hearing is 98 percent good,” Heil said Monday afternoon, adding that the remaining 2 percent of feedback consists of good ideas on how to improve the event.

Organizers were able to resolve the complaints that came up at the event on the spot, he said.

Heil said the food vendors were very pleased with their business at the event, and the Knights of Columbus served twice as many hamburgers and hot dogs as last year.

“Everything seemed to go pretty well,” he said.

Hull said his team won the knockerball tournament in a hard-fought last match against one of two USA Pain Clinic teams. His group took the Mayor’s Challenge trophy back from the Parks and Rec team, which won last year.

The people who participated in the treasure hunt had fun, Heil said, and misters, free swimming and the air-conditioned silent auction area helped with the heat.

“I think the entertainment was good,” he said.

Hull said Haynes Park was the perfect venue and cooperation with Intel to provide parking was invaluable.

A lot of people liked Haynes Park as the venue, Heil said, but many didn’t seem to know they could park at Intel and ride a shuttle. He heard complaints about lack of parking and having to walk too far, despite the fact that shuttles ran regularly and dropped riders off at the park entrance.

Heil said organizers used multiple methods to try to inform people about the parking, but they’ll need to work on improving it next year.

He also said fewer people visited the medical helicopter and the Rio Rancho Police Department T-shirt sling-shot, which were located away from the booths to give them more space. He plans to move RRPD closer next year, but the helicopter needs a lot of space to land.

Heil thanked the volunteers, vendors and sponsors who helped with Sunday is Funday.

FROM ARGEN DUNCAN | OBSERVER STAFF WRITER
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