The River Hills Social Team put on a Mardi Gras-themed Party in the Park for residents in late March.

River Hills residents recently benefited from another night of fun thanks to the community’s active Social Team. On March 30, the group hosted approximately 200 residents for a Mardi Gras-themed ‘Party in the Park,’ bringing together neighbors and offering local vendors the chance to gain customers in the community.

“Focused on making sure there was a little something for everyone; small children, teens, adults and grandparents. This was the HOA’s first major event featuring local vendors providing a movie night and food truck experience at the same event,” said Julie Rule, River Hills Social Team Chair. “We believe in giving back to the entrepreneurs in our community, and it paid back dividends.”

Residents and families attending the event participated in basketball games spanning generations at the lighted basketball courts; Mardi Gras-themed photo opportunities; children’s crafts, including a personalized Mardi Gras mask; giveaways of AMC movie gift cards, free popcorn and cake; food from BBQ Time food truck; and the main event, a showing of “The Princess and the Frog” on a 25-foot jumbo movie screen thanks to Skipper from Awesome Party Inflatables. Glow necklaces were also passed out at dusk to add to the ambiance.

“Wow, what an amazing event,” said resident Josh Cook. “Thank you for all the hard work and energy the social committee put in to make it a special night for all. Our kids had an absolute blast.”

According to Lori Felegy, the event chair, the River Hills Social Team believes the key to successful events is collaborating on ideas and a few months of detailed planning.

“In addition to bringing families and the community together, one of the best parts of being on the Social Committee and attending the events is the lifelong friendships that have been formed,” said Felegy.

Rule explained that it took several committee meetings and many volunteers to make the event a success.

“In addition to our River Hills Social Team, volunteers included team members’ husbands, over 25 golfers, board members, residents and high school students who earned service hours,” she said.

“This is the second of many more events and volunteer opportunities that the River Hills Social Team will be planning for residents this year,” she said. “If you’re interested in volunteering for an upcoming event or joining the team, let us know.”

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Assignment Editor Kate Quesada started working at the Osprey Observer in 2004 after graduating from the University of South Florida with a masters degree in Mass Communications. Since then, she has held various positions at the paper and has been working as the assignment editor since January 2020. She lives in Lithia with her husband Mike and sons Dylan and Max and stays active in the community on school PTA boards and volunteering with local organizations.