As Memorial Day weekend approaches, Fort Jackson aquatics staff are busy with final touches for opening day of the Palmetto Falls Water Park on Fort Jackson. The timing of the park's opening day couldn't be better as local weather reports predict triple digit heat beginning this weekend.

The official opening date for the park is Saturday. Annual passes are available now for all Department of Defense ID card holders and cost $33. An extra $5 can be added to the annual pass price, which will include access to Legion Pool. Passes are sold at Victory Travel located inside the Solomon Center.

"I just purchased season passes to the Palmetto Falls Water Park," said Jessica Franchini, a military spouse and mother. "We plan on going this weekend, and it's convenient since we live on-post."

Daily passes for DOD ID card holders are available for purchase at the park entrance for $8. Those for guests of military personnel are available for $11.

The park will be open on weekends only until local schools break for the summer in early June. From then until the end of the season, the park will be open every day of the week except Mondays.

Local area residents with no military affiliation are also invited to take advantage of the water park during hot summer days throughout the week starting in June. Non-military personnel can stop at the Forest Drive gate (Gate 2) to purchase a day pass for $13 or annual pass for $55 and have their background check conducted for installation access.

A driver's license, vehicle registration and proof of insurance are required for the background check and installation access.

The family-friendly water park offers a lazy river, high-speed slide, smaller slides for children under 36 inches, lagoon with water features such as splash buckets and waterfall, lap pool, playground and spray pad. Shaded picnic tables and lounge chairs are also available on a first come, first served basis and plenty of lawn is available for beach towels. A snack bar is also available that will carry various cold refreshments and light snacks.

"We are very excited," said Sang Pak, aquatics director for the Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation. "We are looking forward to another safe season."

Non-military personnel will need to apply for a membership and request water park access. For more information about the water park, future events or to download applications, visit the website at