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The Hispanic community of Phoenix calls it Fiesta del Agua. It’s a water safety event held by the city’s Aquatic Section in the densely populated Latino part of the city where drownings have been high. And it’s a key part of the facility’s emphasis on keeping aquatics fun but safe. As a result, no drownings have occurred in three years.

This was one of several challenges facing the City of Phoenix Aquatic Section as it strived to supplement its 29 facilities with safe, fun water programs for everyone. The city also targeted its job applicant marketing to a new demographic more representative of its community in an effort to fill up a low job applicant pool.

Today, the city’s facilities attract nearly a million attendees annually. A corporate-donation “Kool Kids” program provides free swimming lessons at 21 of the pools. The extensive programming includes swimming classes, swim and dive teams, synchronized swimming, water basketball, water polo, lifeguard training, and the “Itty Bitty Beach Party” for children six and younger complete with games, swimsuit contests and flowery leis.