There was a new leprechaun in town when Braden Ballard, 8, climbed atop the play set wearing the legendary creature’s green hat, golden beard and shiny glasses. ‘Catch the Leprechaun’ was one of the many activities featured at the third annual Leprechaun Game Night held Friday at the Zachary Community Park.

Tiffany George, recreation manager at the Zachary park, said the rain resulted in activity adjustments, but the turnout showed many were not discouraged.

BREC staffers led projects, allowed themselves to be chased and served snacks to the mostly toddler to preteen crowd.

George and other BREC staffers took part in a sunset kayaking activity near LSU Lakes before heading to Zachary to unleash the luck of the Irish with activities that included an Irish-themed picture booth, a Pot of Gold Relay, How Many Skittles Make the Rainbow and a scavenger hunt.

Laser Tag with the Leprechaun fell victim to the wet weather, but George told the disappointed participants that BREC’s second Leprechaun Game Night will be from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. March 17 at the Perkins Road Community Park 

Jennifer Clayton and her crew were excited to hear the news. Clayton attended the event with her daughter and eight other cousins who made game night a family affair.

St. Patrick's Day, also known as the Feast of St. Patrick, is a cultural and religious celebration held on March 17, the traditional death date of St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland.

St. Patrick's Day became a Christian feast day in the early 17th century and is observed by several denominations, including the Roman Catholic Church, the Anglican Communion, the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Lutheran Church. The day commemorates St. Patrick and the arrival of Christianity in Ireland. It also celebrates the heritage and culture of the Irish people. Celebrations usually involve parades, festivals and the wearing of green attire or shamrocks. The Zachary event followed suit with plenty of green attire and shamrocks.

George, a native of Zachary, said she feels privileged to see the park system flourish in her hometown. The Zachary Community Park has developed thanks to project funding that has expanded services for residents of all ages.

“This is my lifeblood,” George said. “This is what gives me purpose.”

For more about the park, its activities and features, visit brec.org and search Zachary Community Park.