By Lori Smith
Summer is officially underway, and there is no shortage of options for entertainment, exercise and even learning in the city of Pickerington in the next few months.
According to Rebecca Medinger , director of the Parks and Recreation Department, the staff has been working all year to ensure that residents of Pickerington and the neighboring communities have a variety of fun options this summer. They are most excited, however, about the latest phase of the swimming pool expansion, which includes an expanded splash pad, dueling water guns, animals that spray water, and a giant bucket that periodically dumps gallons of water on those playing below.
“We tackle one major project a year,” Medinger said, noting this most recent phase of the swimming pool expansion cost $67,200. They also replaced two diving boards this year. “We are ready to go!”
The Pickerington Community Pool, located at 11330 Stonecreek Drive South, is open for the season and season passes range from $160 to $420. Day passes are $8. It is open from noon to 8 p.m. daily.
The pool will host its family luau night from 6-9 p.m. June 14, Medinger added. Regular admission fees will apply.
“We just do some fun little games for a few hours,” she said, adding that attendees are asked to bring a potluck dish to share and dress in tropical attire. The “Lego Ninjago” movie will be shown on a giant inflatable screen starting at 8:45 p.m.
“It’s kind of fun to swim at night with the lights on,” Medinger said, noting a second dive-in movie, “Coco” is scheduled for 8:45 p.m. on July 12.
Another pool favorite on the is the end-of-the-season dog splash, which will be held from 4:30-7:30 p.m. on Sept. 3. Admission is $5 for dogs and owners swim for free.
“Last year we had 155 dogs come from all over,” Medinger said. Owners must provide proof of rabies vaccination at entry.
Another summer favorite in the city of Pickerington is the summer concert series, which is held from 7-8:30 p.m. Sundays at the amphitheater at Sycamore Creek Park. This year’s schedule includes: June 3, The McCartney Project; June 10, Jonalee White Band; June 17, Rockhouse; June 24, Yesterday and Today; July 1, David Gerald Trio; July 15, Chris Logsdon; July 22, Swagg; and July 29, Stadium 11.
“We try to do a little variety of everything,” Medinger said, noting that rock, country and cover bands are all represented in the lineup. Some bands are new, others are returning. “I think it’s always good to stir up the lineup a little bit.”
Friday Night Flicks, which are sponsored by Fairfield Federal and are also shown at the Sycamore Creek Park amphitheater, always draw a good family crowd, Medinger said.
“We probably average around 300 people on a good weather night,” Medinger said. “It’s a nice little atmosphere.”
The free event is also budget-friendly for families, she noted, adding that a local church provides popcorn for the event.
“Movies can get expensive,” she said, “so this is a fun option for families.”
The schedule includes: 9 p.m. June 1, Despicable Me 3; 9 p.m. June 8, The Nut Job 2; 9:05 p.m. June 15, the Lego Ninjago movie; 9:05 p.m. June 22, Beauty and the Beast; 9:05 p.m. June 29, Beethoven; 9 p.m. July 13, Coco; 8:55 p.m. July 20, Cars 3; 8:50 p.m. July 27, The Incredibles.
The Pickerington Parks and Recreation Department is also offering classes and camps for youth, and there are still plenty of spaces available, Medinger said.
“Our engineering camps have really taken off in the last couple of years,” she said, noting that parents like the idea that their children keep learning even though school is out. “It is important to us that we expand beyond the typical sports and arts camps.”
In addition, there are quite a few adult classes and programs offered this year, including a new adult kickball league.
“The first year is always the hardest,” Medinger said, noting that they were hoping to get more teams this year, but she is hopeful the program will expand next year through word-of-mouth.
“The ones who are in it are having a really good time.”
In other parks and recreation news, they are installing new playground equipment at Colony Park. Parking lot and restroom expansions are complete at Victory Park. In Sycamore Park, they are adding a bike path connector and expanded parking spots.
“It will be nice when people come to the movies and concerts,” Medinger said.
For a complete listing of summer events offered by the Pickerington Parks and Recreation Department, visit www.pickerington.net or pick up a program guide at Pickerington City Hall, 100 Lockville Road.