South Harrison Park site of summer events
Kaitlyn Clay, Staff Writer, [email protected]
The staple classics of a Fourth of July celebration — cookouts, swimming, music and fireworks — still were able to happen even amidst a pandemic, thanks to the Harrison County Parks Dept. staff.
South Harrison Park near Elizabeth was the site of a celebration Sunday, with live music performed by local band The Skinny. Attendees could hear the echo of laughter across the park from those swimming in the pool, which opened Saturday for the first time since 2018 after a major renovation project.
Larry Shickles, superintendent of the parks department, noted that all pool times for Saturday and Sunday sold out, and the Helen Cunningham Community Pool was a huge hit to beat the heat.
Many families and groups brought chairs, blankets and coolers and, due to the large space on the park grounds, were able to socially distance themselves from others as much as needed.
Shickles said that even though there is a pandemic going on, it was important to give people a day of fun while still following the guidelines put in place.
“We really felt it was important for people to be able to get out and do this,” he said. “People can stay in the parking lot in their cars to see fireworks or they can easily spread out in the field to hear the music. With Lanesville Heritage Weekend canceled and the county fair going down to two days, it just felt like we needed to do what we could to lift spirits.”
Angie Young, 37, of Laconia, said it was the perfect timing to have this event. The mother of two toddlers said that because of the coronavirus pandemic she has tried to keep them at home as much as possible. She also said family has been trying to distance as well, so being out in the open air with others in the nearby vicinity started to make the world feel a little more normal.
“You almost forget that these were the type of things we all did on weekends before the pandemic hit,” Young said. “Seeing my kids running around and playing in a park feels nice; it feels really nice.”
The pool was also a popular addition to the day due to the high temperatures and humidity. Renovations had been taking place on the pool, and the parks board seemed excited to share it with the public finally.
“We pushed hard to get the pool done in time,” Shickles said Sunday. “We sold out our twilight swim on the Fourth, and both sessions today have sold out too. We hope to host a dedication soon for it.”
The pool is now open daily from noon to 6 p.m. through the end of July when a revised schedule will be announced due to the start of the 2020-21 school year. The pool is available for private parties.
Sunday’s activities concluded with a fireworks display by Casabella Fireworks.
The event was made possible by Harrison County Parks, Caesars of Southern Indiana, Posey Township Trustee Teresa Sutton and Councilman Brad Wiseman.