Mermaids and Mateys at Centennial Sea


Madelyn Jefferies, 3, is captivated to meet mermaid Rachel Howieson at the Mermaids and Mateys event hosted Saturday morning at Centennial Pool. Twenty-five children attended the event, which is in its eighth year. “I love watching the little ones,” Howeison said. “They really like it when we dress up for them.”

Pirate Leland Everhart looks on as 3-year-old Layton Tyler walks the plank and plunges into the brink of the waters of Centennial Sea. Those in attendance were treated to activities and games including a buried treasure dive where the mermaids and pirates searched for hidden treasures in the depths of pool.

Eden Herren tries to catch the “ocean’s bubbles” before she enjoyed the other activities at the Mermaids and Mateys event at Centennial Pool. Herren was there with her brother Jobe and sister Esther. “This is such a fun activity for the kids,” Kirsten Herren, the children’s mother, said. “It’s a great opportunity for them to enjoy some time at the pool.”

Ryder Pettis looks on as pirate ships and sea animals approach from the distance. Michael Pettis, Ryder’s father, said his son was a big fan of Jake and the Pirates. The father and son pair spent a lot of time playing catch with large colorful beach balls before enjoying more time in the water.

Captain Kaliyah Korthas, left, considers the course of the ship she is commanding as first mate Emma Irvine offers her nautical advice. The two girls were relying on lifeguard Logan O’Neal to stand in as the rudder of the ship.

Libby LaCasse take a ride in the shallow waters of Centennial Sea in the belly of an alligator. After a few laps in the alligator, LaCasse went on to play, riding a whale and dolphin.

Lifeguard Lucas Rosendale, left, fills a portion of his bottle with sand while Camden Youngblood writes a message for her bottle. Youngblood wouldn’t tell Rosendale what she was writing. “It’s a secret,” Youngblood said.

Even though Ariel and Captain Jack Sparrow were not at the party, for the little mermaids and pirates who attended Saturday’s Mermaids and Mateys event sponsored by the Sedalia Parks and Recreation Department, a good time was had by all.

The eighth annual event experienced a retooling this year, according to Parks and Rec activities director Kerri Tyler.

“This year we decided to combine two events in one,” Tyler said. “In the past we had one for the girls and one for the boys; we thought by having both events together families could spend more time together.”

Tyler said attendance was down somewhat this year, but felt it might be because people were confused by the name change.

“We hope that isn’t the case,” Tyler said. “It still has all the fun activities that we’ve done in the past and we’ve added some new things as well.”

Some of the activities included creating and sending a message in a bottle, making pirate or mermaid sun catchers, coloring beach balls, tic-tac-toss and “Dead Man Man’s Drop,” which is a pirate’s version of PLINKO.

“We always try to have a lot of activities and things for the children and their parents to take part in,” Tyler added. “They really seem to like the activities, especially the chance to dive for hidden treasure.

“We hide jewels and trinkets in the water and then the kids have the opportunity to find them,” Tyler said.

For many in attendance, the opportunity to have the pool available only to the younger children was an added bonus.

“It’s nice to have the little ones have this time to be at the pool without the older children to compete with them,” Cathy Korthas said. “It really is a great fun for them.”

Korthas was there with her daughter, Kylie Korthas, and granddaughter, Kaliyah.

Tyler, who brought her two children to the event, also agreed.

“It’s nice for the little ones,” Tyler said. “They get to go at their own pace and they have free rein to swim and play as they want.”

Older children, teens and families should not feel left out though.

Beginning Wednesday, Liberty Park Pool will begin Wednesday night swim nights. The pool will be open from 7 to 10 p.m. for anyone to come and swim and enjoy some relaxing time at the pool. The cost of admission is $3

On Friday, Centennial Park will sponsor a “Dive-in Movie” night. The pool will open at 8:30 p.m. and at 9 p.m. the movie “The Pirates! Band of Misfits” will be shown on a big screen. The animated feature is rated PG.

“We’re going to set a big screen up on the deck in the back of the pool,” Tyler said. “We’re encouraging everyone to bring their floats or lawn chairs and enjoy the movie.”

The cost of the dive-in movie is $3 per person. The concession stand will also be open for the night.

Liberty Park Pool is located at 1600 W. Third St. and Centennial Pool is located near the intersection of New York Avenue and 16th Street. Hours of operation are 1 to 6 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 1 to 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

Sedalia Democrat
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