News Column

Point Mallard on nation's 'Greatest Water Parks' list

May 27, 2014

By Catherine Godbey, The Decatur Daily, Ala.

May 27--Perhaps it is the beach, the speed slides or the lazy river. Then again it could be the wave pool, children's area or platform diving boards that secured Point Mallard a spot on the "14 of the Greatest Water Parks in America" list.

Built on the Tennessee River, the water park, a vision of then Decatur Mayor J. Gilmer Blackburn, opened in 1970 with America's first wave pool.

"We lived on Stratford Road and would drive our station wagon to a dirt mound and look at what would become the park. My dad said, 'What do you think we should call it?' My mom said 'Point Mallard,' " said Gay Blackburn Maloney, daughter of J. Gilmer Blackburn.

The park opened for its 44th season Saturday and will remain open until Labor Day.

According to the list, the Decatur aquatic center made it because "Point Mallard is a great outing for the whole family. There's a sandy beach, speed slide, and even a campground where you can park your RV."

Park marketing director Julianne Hansen said, "What makes us unique is that family atmosphere. There's just so much to enjoy and its affordable."

The Coppertone-sponsored list also included:

Wet 'n Wild in Orlando, Florida

Big Surf in Tempe, Arizona

Wildwater Kingdom, Allentown, Pennsylvania

Water Country USA, Williamsburg, Virginia

Raging Waters, San Dimas, California

Kalahari Resort, Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin

Water World, Federal Heights, Colorado

Island Waterpark, Fresno, California

Schlitterbahn, New Braunfels, Texas

Holiday World and Splashin' Safari, Santa Claus, Indiana

Great Wolf Lodge, Poconos, Pennsylvania

Hurricane Harbor, Jackson, New Jersey

Splish Splash, Riverhead, New York.

Catherine Godbey can be reached at 256-340-2441 or Follow on Twitter @DecaturLiving.


(c)2014 The Decatur Daily (Decatur, Ala.)

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Source: Decatur Daily (AL)

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