Salem Parks board looking to add pre-fireworks fun | News, Sports, Jobs

SALEM–Salem Parks & Recreation is looking for clubs, community groups and organizations to volunteer to operate and sponsor some fun activities for a pre-fireworks celebration on July 3 at Waterworth Memorial Park.

Parks Recreation Supervisor Amber Smith said the plan is to hold the activities from 5 to 9 p.m., before the city’s holiday fireworks display, which usually starts when it gets dark.

She’s even got a list of ideas for activities, starting with music, to have a few bands play throughout the evening. Other ideas include a children’s decorated vehicle parade for bicycles, scooters or strollers, a bouncy house, dunk tank, races, watermelon eating contest, pie contest, characters, face painting, rock wall and photo booth.

Anyone interested should give Smith a call at the park office, 2222 Oak St., at 330-271-8913. The office is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Smith made the announcement during her report to the Salem Parks Commission Wednesday night, when she also spoke about the success of the Easter egg hunt held last Saturday, the day before Easter. She estimated that 350 kids took part in three different age groups, divvying up 9,000 eggs laid out at Waterworth Memorial Park. There were also special eggs that landed a kid lucky enough to find one a chocolate bunny. The Easter Bunny made an appearance, too.

Smith thanked all the workers from Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, the real estate firm which co-sponsored the event with Salem Parks & Recreation, High Octaine Coffee for being there, Jill Moore of the parks department for all her help both before and during the event, and students from Heartland Christian School for doing face painting.

Smith, who serves as pool manager as part of her duties, announced she’s accepting applications for certified lifeguards for the upcoming pool season at Centennial Park. She already has the head lifeguard and three other lifeguards lined up and would like to have at least three more. The position of lifeguard pays $9 per hour, which Parks Director Shane Franks said is more than almost everybody else in the public pool business. Applicants can apply at the park office or give Smith a call.

In other business, Franks reported that the city lake, also known as the Salem Reservoir, located off of Gamble Road, is officially open. He said people should “get out there and get fishin’,” and also bring their canoes, kayaks and small fishing boats, but noted the lake has boats and electric motors for rent. No gas-powered motors are allowed.

The commission approved the list of lake employees for this year, including returnees Jim Lipscolm, Jeff Greenfield, James Barton and new employee Joseph Garwood.

During his report, Parks Foreman Jim Grimm reported a lot of people have been coming to the parks so they’ve been doing a lot more of the routine work of cleaning up restrooms, dumping trash, picking up sticks and now mowing the grass, too. They had some ruts to repair since the mower sunk in and got stuck at some wet spots. They’ve been working on some extra projects, too, such as replacing boards at a pair of pavilions. Work at the Swings & Things Playground has been slowed down by the wet weather, but the boulders they’re planning to put in the playground are coming soon, once they get some dry weather to work on the base. A drain project by the Kiwanis appears to be working to fix the area that always got wet near the one pavilion at Centennial Park.

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