STAFFORD - On Friday, July 12, Stafford Township's new adventure park, the Mainland Adventure Park celebrated their grand opening with a time of blessing, ribbon cutting, food, beverages and fellowship with various leaders and area residents.
Chris Vernon recently opened the Mainland Adventure Park, a large course consisting of zip lines, climbing tiers and go-kart track in front of his Mainland Holiday Inn on Route 72 in Manahawkin.
Vernon saw a need for expanded amusement options for families. "We have an alternative here that people can add to their beach experiences. On a cloudy day that is not great for the beach, they can shoot over here and have fun. Families can come here, get fresh air, grab a meal and spend time together as a family."
The Mainland’s Adventure Park features a go-kart track, a 50-foot climbing wall with three different climbing options, over 50 aerial activities, four zip lines, and a Kid’s Course with the Playzone.
“There are three tiers,” Vernon said. “Probably the easiest section is fine for a four or five year old and you graduate from there. There are 28 challenges on the course and it probably takes two hours for a fit grown up to get through."
A Blessed Day
Msgr Ken Tuzeneu, the beloved pastor at St. Mary's Parish in Stafford and Barnegat was one of two pastors who shared a prayer of blessing. The other participant was retired pastor Msgr. Walter Nolan. Nolan has long had a close relationship with the Vernon family. His career included serving at St. Gregory the Great Parish in Hamilton Square. Nolan also served at Notre Dame High School for many years. He had a great influence at Notre Dame bringing their Athletic program to statewide recognition. Monsignor Nolan completed his career as Pastor at St. Paul's in Princeton.
Some of the highlights of the celebration included a ribbon cutting by Stafford Mayor, Council, Miss Stafford, Little Miss Stafford and Mr. Vernon.
A number of honorees in the crowd included former Mayor John Spodofora, whose administration played major role in the development of the adventure park. Spodofora is pictured here on the left with Chris Vernon.
Mrs. Maria Davlouris was also honored. Mrs. Davlouros is the former owner of the Holiday Inn who sold the hotel to Mr. Vernon a few years ago. Mrs. Davlouros is also the owner of the Stafford Diner. She is standing second from the end on the right.
Stafford Mayor Greg Myhre challenged his Council members to a race on the new go-kart track. The Mayor was defeated by one of his Council members in the competition.
Many people enjoyed soft music played in the background. Food, beverages and conversation were plentiful. The Mainland Adventure Park promises to be a place of great family fun for years to come.