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Barrio Fiesta de Agua 2024 kicks off summer break for Southside students

Barrio Restoration continues building community and finding ways to bring Southside neighborhoods together
Barrio Fiesta de Agua 2024
Posted at 7:21 PM, May 24, 2024

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — For many students across Tucson, Thursday was the last day of school. On the Southside, David Garcia wanted to continue his work with Barrio Restoration by giving kids the opportunity to start summer break with a splash. That's why he hosted the third annual Barrio Fiesta de Agua.

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“As a kid, on the last day of school, you had to have water balloons, you had to go to the park to go celebrate. And it doesn't happen to often on this side of town," said Garcia. "So I'm just reliving my childhood and it brings joy to the whole community.”

Tucson Fire Department brought out one of their engines to hose down the kids while they played with water guns and went on the water slide. For students getting out of school on Thursday, it was a cool way to kick off summer break.

“My favorite thing was going down the slide, also the balloons,” said Brooke Schuckman.

Her mom, Tessa Schuckman, said it was nostalgic getting to experience an event like this one.

“I remember my childhood memories, actually doing this in my hometown. So I was able to luckily take the day off, and spend the day with my kids,” she said.

The gathering was held at La Mariposa Park in the Fairgrounds Barrio on May 22, but it will have a lasting impact through the summer thanks to the work of Barrio Restoration.

A sign-in sheet was included at the event for attendees to share their names, their neighborhoods, and what improvements they would like to see. Garcia said he wants to invest in all Southside neighborhoods, not just the Fairgrounds.

“We're one big neighborhood, it's not the Fairgrounds neighborhood, we got Bravo, we still got National City, Rose Neighborhood, we're one big community out here and we're just trying to encourage and inspire other folks what you can do to amplify your hood. And it's right here,” he said.

He plans to plant trees, set up water harvesting, and do community clean-ups in the areas where the attendees wanted to see improvements.

Reyna Preciado is a reporter for KGUN 9, she joined the KGUN 9 team in July of 2022 after graduating Arizona State University. Share your story ideas with Reyna by emailing or by connecting on Instagram, or Twitter.