PALMETTO -- It was a perfect day to dedicate the Sylvan Oaks Park renovation.
An enthusiastic crowd from the neighborhood turned out Monday to celebrate with children trying out new playground equipment, adults remarking at the new pavilion and everyone enjoying cupcakes and barbecued hot dogs.
The 2-acre park at 715 17th St. E. also boasted new benches and picnic tables, drinking fountain, sidewalk and signage.
"I don't want to hear 'There's no money,'" said Carol Johnson, a neighbor who first proposed a facelift for the park more than a year ago. "When I first called, they said there was no money."
County officials eventually stepped in with $64,322, and several departments helped make the project a reality.
"This is a beautiful element to this park, which has been here a long time," said Manatee County Commissioner Michael Gallen, standing beneath the new pavilion.
A box of books for people to read, called Little Free Library, was supplied by the county library system in partnership with the Bradenton Kiwanis Club.
The pavilion will come in handy on rainy days when children would previously wait in the rain for the school bus to pick them up, said Clarence Gissendanner of Palmetto.
"A lot of kids got wet in the rain," he said.
His daughter, Tamiya Gissendanner, 9, said she was excited to use the park's new facilities "because before, we didn't have enough to play, and now, we can play."
Sara Kennedy, Herald reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7031. Follow her on Twitter @sarawrites.