Spring Break Draws Big Crowds To Tulsa Gathering Place

Friday, March 22nd 2019, 8:54 pm
By: Emory Bryan

Gathering Place has drawn many families out on Spring Break. All winter, this has been the week they've been planning on - the first Spring Break after the park's opening.

It has been popular.

There's no place where it looks like there's 20,000 people plus - though there are crowds. The playgrounds are busy, but children didn't seem to mind.

Or parents - many who made this their Spring Break destination - from Dallas and Kansas City; some here for March Madness.

"It's a big place, so everybody is spread out," said Katie Walterback, a visitor from Kansas City.

"It's nerve-wracking to keep up with your kids, but so far we haven't lost anybody."

There have been children separated from parents, but Gathering Place is now handing out wrist bands at the entrances - to help them reconnect.

"They can locate one of their children easily if a team member finds their child, they're able to reunite them very quickly," said Lesley Patterson, Gathering Place.

The biggest challenge for many visitors is the traffic on Riverside - bumper to bumper within a half mile Friday morning - and on site parking - which was full. As one car left - another could come in, and the park was shuttling people to offsite parking across the River.

"Tuesday was kind of rough, but today, quick in and out," said Colorado visitor Jordan Brown.

Related Story: Tulsa's Gathering Place Launches New Park App 

It's been 7 months since the park opened and outside of the opening - Spring Break has had the largest crowds.

"We're really having a good Spring Break," said Gathering Place Director Tony Moore.

The park has workers everywhere helping out the many new visitors - and they've had perfect weather for the first Spring Break. They don't believe the average day in the summer will be this busy.

"We had days when it was 15 degrees and icy and there were still people here, so it will be interesting tomorrow during Spring Break if the rain keeps the crowds away or not," Moore said.

To make parking easier - thru Sunday - shuttle buses are running to the park from River West Festival Park.