Sunday’s heat didn’t stop brothers Stacey Rodrigues and Lambert Ledeay from celebrating Father’s Day by taking their families and father, Roy Rodrigues, to grill fajitas at Riverside Park.

Trips to the park have long been a tradition for the Rodrigues family.

“We’ve been coming here for years,” Roy Rodrigues said. “Sometimes Easter Sunday, sometimes Father’s Day, sometimes just out of the blue.”

Roy Rodrigues, 59, now lives in Corpus Christi, but he was born in Victoria and raised his six boys here. Although his sons are now spread across the United States, he manages to get who he can down to the park where he once played music and, later, played with his children.

The Rodrigues family has been coming here for years, but for Ernesto Sierra and his family, Riverside Park is a new Father’s Day destination. Sierra, 28, moved his family two weeks ago from Brownsville to work for Formosa as a pipe fitter. Although the park is unfamiliar to them, the Father’s Day tradition they were taking part in Sunday afternoon wasn’t.

When he was growing up, Sierra and his father enjoyed fishing in the ocean near Brownsville. This Father’s Day, Sierra carried a fishing pole with him, and his 5-year-old son Damian practiced casting his line into the brown waters of the Guadalupe. He’d already caught a footlong catfish.

In their first afternoon in the park, Sierra said he had already had a positive impression.

“I like it,” Sierra said. “It’s peaceful.”

Although Roy Rodrigues said the park has changed over the years, it’s still a place he looks forward to visiting.

“I’ve seen a lot of changes, but it’s always been beautiful,” Rodrigues said. “Something about it keeps me coming back.”

Morgan is the business reporter for the Victoria Advocate. She can be reached at (361) 580-6328, mohanlon@vicad.com or @mcohanlon.

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Morgan covers business for the Victoria Advocate. She was born and raised in Austin, Texas and received her bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Texas at Austin.

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