Cinco de Mayo & Old Settler’s Park

It feels like I’ve been sick for so long.  I’m on Day 9? of a cold.  Definitely on the route towards health. I’m hoping I make it to fully healthy before the world ends tomorrow.

I missed so much during my cold. I really wanted to see Election Night on the Square.  I missed Second Saturday and the Old Red Lumberyard sale. Ugh. 

The last event I made it to was the city’s Cinco de Mayo concert at Old Settler’s Park.  I had hoped to see big crowds, colorful costumes and happy people. Mariachi Michoacan was an excellent band. Really  good.  I’m sure they’ve played for more people at a quinceanera. Even a small quinceanera.  Heck, I think that there have been larger retirement parties.  I was so disappointed by the turn out. 

Mariachi Michoacan

Mariachi Michoacan

 Despite the band and a pretty cool bounce house, attendance a half hour into the two hour event was remarkably lackluster.

Bounce Tent at Cinco de Mayo

Bounce Tent at Cinco de Mayo

I only stayed for a couple of songs.  I had hoped to get some festive photos but it just wasn’t meant to be, the sun was setting and there just wasn’t a vibe.  Even some of the vendors hadn’t set up their booths yet.  I talked to a man from State Farm and he said that they expected two to three hundred people later, partly because of a boxing match going on in the nearby boxing center.  I really do hope that they showed up. 

Apart from there being so few people, I was really surprised to not see anybody who looked like they were from the city. In particular, I didn’t see any of the EMTs on their seqways or police officers on their horses or bicycles.  I know a lot of people don’t like “the fuzz” but I like to see them and they are usually highly conspicuous at all city events.  They are even on hand at the Farmer’s Market, so where were they for the concert?

Since I don’t have the great shots from Cinco de Mayo that I wanted and I really wanted to show off Old Settler’s Park a little, here are some shots that I do have from there. Last September, I had gone over to Settler’s Park earlier in the day. The park is huge and it has a lot of amenities.

Old Settler's Park

Old Settler's Park

There’s a very pretty swimming pool.  They call it an “aquatic center”.  Do we really have to get all fancy with the names?  Really?  I don’t care if it’s technically incorrect, I’m calling it a swimming pool.  I couldn’t get a close up on the pool area at the time because there were a lot of children and a party was going on.

Old Settler's Aquatic Center

Old Settler's Aquatic Center

The park also has two large baseball fields. One may be a practice field. This looks to be the main field.  The smaller field is behind the concession building that is behind and to the right of this field.

One of Two Baseball Fields at Old Settler's Park

One of Two Baseball Fields at Old Settler's Park

Here’s the permanent concession building.

Mouzon Concession Building

Mouzon Concession Building

For some reason, every time I look at the basketball courts at Old Settler’s Park, I think that they are tennis courts.  I know that there are basketball goals there as big as day but I still forget somehow. 

Basketball Courts at Old Settler's Park

Basketball Courts at Old Settler's Park

They have the requisite play areas.

Play Area at Old Settler's Park

Play Area at Old Settler's Park

And a couple of picturesque bridges leading into the neighboring community.

Bridge Over a Creek Leads to Neighboring Community

Bridge Over a Creek Leads to Neighboring Community

I have a bit of a thing for bridges.

Another Bridge at Old Settler's Park

Another Bridge at Old Settler's Park

And while we’re on bridges, there’s this shot showing the close proximity of a school to the park and a nice covered picnic pavilion. What a great location for a school.  Puts my old school playground to shame.

Another Bridge Shot at Old Settler's Park

Another Bridge Shot at Old Settler's Park

The park is absolutely huge.  But wait, there’s more.  There the actual Recreation Center building and the covered area where the soundstage was set up for the concert.  This is where the McKinney Drumming Circle meets each Saturday morning. According to their meetup, they have a big workshop going on this Saturday from 10 to 3.  See their web site for more info.

Old Settler's Park Recreation Center

Old Settler's Park Recreation Center

Connected to that, there’s also the Barney & Me Boxing Center, where a match was going on at the same time as the Cinco de Mayo festivities.  I think it’s featherweight, ages 10 to 17? They have a PAL event coming up in June.  PAL stands for Police Athletic League.  My dad was active in that. He was a detective for the Dallas Police Department during the 60’s and 70’s.  I even remember going to some of the events. Well, one event.  I was little.

Barney & Me Boxing Center

Barney & Me Boxing Center

There’s a lot of history here.  There’s a lot stuff to do here.  But for all that, there are problems too.  You may have noticed the tagging on the historic marker in one of the shots above.

Tagged Historic Marker

Tagged Historic Marker

There is a perception that the area east of McDonald Street is unsafe.  I have driven through some of the area and some parts, I have to agree, are kind of frightening.  Other parts are just as cute and charming as they can be.   The park seems safe and the neighboring community is very pretty and well maintained.  You can tell the people there care. The tagging doesn’t help though.  Which makes me wonder again why there was no conspicuous police or EMT presence at the Cinco de Mayo concert. 

I have heard that the tagging is supposed to be like a cat spraying his territory, staking a claim.  I know it is supposed to be targeted at other gang members but I really perceive it as an attempt to claim it away from the ordinary citizens who pay the taxes and elect the officials to fund and maintain it. 

All in all, I’m not meaning to “rag” on anyone (except, possibly, miscreant taggers).  I hope that the city will try to do more events in Settler’s Park. I think it may be important for ordinary citizens to tell the city that places like this are important and that they are doing a good job.   So, City, you’re doing a good job.  Thank you. 

Until next time,

Happy Shopping!

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