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Buc Days volunteers work to make event ADA compliant

With more than a 100,000 people expected this year, event organizers are making the carnival grounds easier to access for people with disabilities.

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The 85th edition of Buc Days is less than a week away.

It will happen at the same time as Wings Over South Texas. With more than a 100,000 people expected, event organizers are already preparing the carnival grounds to make it ADA accessible.

“To make it convenient, easy access for all and obviously utilizing the American Bank Center, which is designed for this, is a big plus for us," said Johnny Philipello, Buccaneer Commission President.

Buc Days begins on May 4 and volunteers are working to transform the area around the American Bank Center into a carnival. Philipello said the carnival used to be at Water’s Edge Park, but the new location helps people with disabilities take advantage of things like temporary ramps installed along the carnival midway. 

“The ease of access in and out and when it rains the beauty of it is that it’d by dry if 30 minutes after the rain’s over and we’re not fighting the grass of a park,” Philipello said.

The Harbor Playhouse parking lot will be designated for ride share in case people don’t want to drive. To add more space for handicap parking, Buc Days will use the Texas State Museum of Asian Cultures and Education Center parking lot, which is near an entrance.

“We’ve reserved that entire lot to be handicap parking for all 11 days," Philipello said. "As well as some angled street parking on Water Street close to both of the gates.”

The Buccaneer Commission also partnered with Corpus Christi Regional Transit Authority to provide shuttle service to and from the Whataburger Field parking lot. CCRTA will provide an accessible viewing station for people with disabilities at the corner of Staples and Leopard Streets. 

“They’ll pick you up, drop you off at the, the building in a nice, reserved area and then, and get you back when, when it’s time, time to go home,” Philipello said.

Philipello said about 72,000 people came with tickets last year and even more attended the parade. At least 300 volunteers will help run the event as it continues through May 14.

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