May 15—With summer soon approaching and COVID-19 restrictions becoming more relaxed, the spray parks at Legion Park, Kendall-Perkins Park and Smothers Park will open earlier this year and help visitors beat the heat sooner.
Jennifer Hodges, Owensboro Parks and Recreation assistant recreation facilities manager, said the three spray parks will be open daily from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. beginning May 29 — weather permitting — and be free to the public.
Hodges said if the weather turns out nice during the Memorial Day weekend, she expects a healthy number of visitors to take part in all three locations.
"But I think, too, with this pandemic, people are itching to get outdoors and go out and do something. So, I think they're all going to have pretty good crowds at them," she said.
Last year, the pandemic delayed the opening of the spray parks to July 3. When the spray parks opened during regular hours, Hodges said they followed the recommended CDC and Green River District Health Department guidelines. However, masks weren't mandatory since it was an outdoor activity, but staying six feet from others that were outside another's household and frequent handwashing were encouraged.
While COVID-19 restrictions are easing as the year progresses, the same guidelines will continue to be put in place until the spray parks closes for the season, either at the end of September or the beginning of October depending on the weather, Hodges said.
"If the weather stays warm, then we'll probably keep all three of them open up through the fall break," she said. "That way, those that are going to be in town and not going away on vacation when the school systems, both county and city, have fall breaks, then the kids can come down to Smothers or at Legion or at Kendall-Perkins and take part in the spray parks at those locations."
For groups of 10 or more people that plan to visit the spray parks, such as a school group, they are encouraged to call 270-683-8333 prior to their visit. This is so that each park can accommodate their needs while not surpassing its visitor capacity, Hodges said.