With the heat index forecasted to soar above 100 degrees this weekend, it seems summer has arrived early this year in Pettis County.
The Sedalia Parks and Recreation Department would like to suggest diving into the options for fun they have available at both Liberty and Centennial pools this season.
“We’ve been open for a couple of weeks and we’ve really had a great response so far,” said Recreation Superintendent Kari Tyler. “The weather has really been cooperating for us so, so far so good.”
Tyler said they were slightly concerned with the pool attendance since the department raised the price of admission by $1 this year but it has not appeared to affect attendance so far.
“I think it’s the nature of the beast,” Tyler said. “We hated to raise the price but it was necessary especially when you consider that most are pools are charging the same amount or more for admission.
“We keep those prices posted so guests can see where we are in comparison to other area pools,” she added. “We’re still priced lower than Warrensburg, for example, and if you consider the gas it would take to drive to other locations we are a great deal.”
In addition to being a good value, the staff has created a number of deals and special events for patrons this season.
“We’ve got some really exciting new activities planned as well as some of our most popular events too,” Tyler said. “One thing I am really excited about is the opportunity for groups to rent the pool side cabana at Centennial for birthday parties and events.
“It really is a great bang for the buck because a group of up to 15 people can enjoy their own exclusive area at the pool for $50 for two hours,” she added. “There is a barbecue grill available there and groups can bring in a cake and have the area all to them. I’m really waiting for it to take off because I think it is a great affordable activity for families and groups.”
Families will also have the opportunity to enjoy time together at the pools on Father’s Day when dads will receive free admission to the pool with a paid admission. There will be a similar offer on the Fourth of July when any military member or veteran who presents their military ID will receive free admission at Liberty Pool.
Centennial Pool will be closed July 4.
“A lot of families are enjoying time together at barbecues and events so we will not open Centennial that day because we have had low attendance there,” Tyler said. “Both pools will also be closed on Aug. 11 for the opening day of the Missouri State Fair.”
July and August feature a number of events including the return of Mermaids and Matey’s July 16 at Centennial Pool, which Tyler said was one of her favorite events of the summer.
On the evening of July 15, Centennial will host a “Dive in Movie” event.
“It’s the first time we’ve been given permission to show a Disney movie and we are really excited,” Tyler said. “We thought ‘Finding Nemo’ would be perfect especially since ‘Finding Dory’ comes out a few weeks prior.”
Guests are invited to watch the movie in the pool or can bring lawn chairs to enjoy the event poolside. Centennial will open at 8:30 p.m. and the movie will begin at 9 p.m.
There are several opportunities for groups to meet at the pool including Wednesday evening Swim Nights at Liberty and Swimming Under the Stars at both Liberty and Centennial.
“On those nights we clear the pools and we open them back up for an additional $4 admission fee,” Tyler said. “They have been really popular in the past because people can get home from work, get into their suits and come out and enjoy the pools in the cooler evening temperatures.”
Tyler also described a new event at Liberty Pool this year: Aqua Camp.
“The camp is for children age 7 to 12 and it’s designed for strong swimmers,” Tyler explained. “We’ll have lots of games and crafts for the kids but we will also focus on their swimming skills and techniques.
“We’re going to dabble a little in the junior lifeguard program too,” Tyler added. “The camp is 9:30 a.m. to noon July 25 through 29 and is $40 per participant.”
Tyler said she was very pleased with her staff at the pools including the lifeguards and managers.
“Both pool managers are back this year for a second year and our core staff of lifeguards are also returning,” Tyler said. “We added seven new lifeguards but all of them are American Red Cross trained and approved.”
For more information, visit the Sedalia Parks and Recreation Department’s redesigned website at sedaliaparks.com.
Hope Lecchi can be reached at 660-826-1000 ext. 1484