Playing with a mermaid

Children play with a mermaid during a previous Sirena Fest event near the banks of Salado Creek.

A series of fundraising happenings will take center stage in the village of Salado following Sirena Fest’s announcement of its calendar of events for 2021.

Tiffany Schreiner, who spearheads Sirena Fest, told the Telegram that six events are currently scheduled throughout the year: Wildflower Waltz, March 19-21; MerDash & Splash, April 3; Cowboy & Cowgirl Texas Poetry and MerTex Market, May 6-9; Edgy Arts Fest & Rockin on Rock Creek, July 1-4; Mystery of the Deep Fashion Grotto, High Tea and Happy Hour, TBA; and the fifth-annual Sirena Festival and Parade, Oct. 1.

Fundraising at each of these events will benefit the planned all-abilities playground at Pace Park — a joint effort between Sirena Fest and the village of Salado.

With playground equipment expected to cost approximately $135,000, while an additional near-$13,000 in site preparation is needed, Schreiner said these planned events are a call to Central Texas families and businesses for assistance.

“This is not just an isolated park,” she said. “This is a park for all of Central Texas and beyond … for all children and families. And all of these events that are on the calendar that I’m talking about are going to support the playground. There’s no reason why everyone shouldn’t get on board.”

But the Salado resident expressed her gratitude for everyone who has lent a helping hand to date.

“There’s been a lot of community support all over Bell County,” Schreiner said. “But we won’t be able to break ground till we hear from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, who we are waiting on grant approval from … so that’s the holdup on that.”

Schreiner said construction will hopefully break ground “as soon as possible” following that grant approval.

In October, Salado Alderman Amber Dankert highlighted how the village of Salado had contributed $50,000 in funding for upgrades to Pace Park.

“For the first time in a really long time, the village of Salado earmarked $50,000 for upgrades to Pace Park, which we’re really excited about,” she said. “We haven’t had a lot of cohesive village support for upgrades to Pace Park in a long time.”

At the time, roughly $115,000 in cash funds had been raised for the park’s development. But more donations are consistently coming through.

“We’ve just gotten an anonymous donor of $25,000,” Schreiner said.

Schreiner said naming rights for various pieces of the playground are up for sponsorship starting at $10,000. Fore more information on events, tickets and donations contact Schreiner at thewellartco@gmail.com.