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Bulloch Parks and Rec to celebrate 75th Anniversary
Public invited to Monday event at Ag Arena
The Bulloch County Recreation and Parks Department will mark 75 years of bringing recreation sports and activities like the one shown above where a volunteer coach helps two young girls get in position on the T-Ball field. - photo by SCOTT BRYANT/file

The Bulloch County Recreation and Parks Department will host a celebration Monday in honor of the department’s founding 75 years ago. The ceremony is set for 4:30-5 p.m. at the Agricultural Arena off Langston Chapel Road.

“We have many former employees, former employees’ families, as well as community members that have all served an important piece in our great history that will be joining us for this event,” said Kimberly Sharpe, the Recreation Department’s Events and Communications director.

On April 1, 1948, with a budget of $3,000, the Statesboro Recreation Department was created to be overseen by the city of Statesboro, with the hiring of Max Lockwood as the first director.

Over the years, the department has shifted to become countywide. There have been several directors after Lockwood, including Ralph Turner, Lonice Barrett, Tom Browne, Frank Hook, Ron Nix, Mike Rollins and the current director, Eddie Canon, who assumed the position in 2020.

Throughout the years that Bulloch County Recreation and Parks has provided services, there has been huge growth. The budget has grown from that first $3,000 to $142,000 in 1974, to $1.9 million in 1997. Bulloch County voters approved a Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax in 1989 to provide $3.2 million for parks and recreation. Another SPLOST was approved in 1993 for $1.5 million, and in 1997, another for $2.2 million. The department also received a $500,000 Community Development Block Grant in 1997 to construct the Senior Citizens Center. In 2002, a SPLOST referendum designated $7 million for recreation.

Monday’s event will include a brief program, refreshments, performances of a few programs. The public is invited. Parking for the celebration will be in the main paved parking lot at the Bulloch County Agricultural Arena. 

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