Phones at the Village of Patchogue Parks Department have been ringing as residents rejoice the return of summer programming. Among a large array of offerings is the much-anticipated reopening of the pool.
“I am really excited, but most excited about opening the pool,” said director of recreation and parks Maria Giustizia, also making note of all the summer programing. “Now more than ever, we are looking for a sense of normalcy in our lives. We hope you are encouraged to take advantage of the recreation programs that have been reformatted to provide a safe and secure pastime for your children.”
As of now, the pool will be open solely to residents, with a 75 percent capacity enactment. Each group entering the pool will be asked a series of questions before being permitted access. However, capacity will adjust as changes in regulations are made.
The Beach Club will be open as of Sunday, June 27 through Labor Day between the hours of 11 a.m. and 7 p.m Monday through Saturday and 5 p.m. on Sunday, and from Aug. 16 through Sept. 6. Season passes range from $50 to $80 with daily admission at $3 to $5. Summer swim lessons will also be available, with limited time slots every half-hour for three-week sessions as well as lifeguard lessons.
“The opening of the pool in Patchogue really marks the beginning of the summer. Coming off the pandemic and creating summer programming was extremely difficult,” mayor Paul Pontieri said, hopeful residents will enjoy the summer. “We had to make sure we were [creating] safe and appropriate programming for the children. Maria, Bill Hilton and Joe Keyes spent an exorbitant amount of time making sure these programs are what our community needs.”
New this year! For the first time ever, the department will be offering goat yoga for ages 12 and older with dates in July and August for $15 per class. Also new is a singing bowl meditation from July 17 to Aug. 21. Yoga on the beach and the fitness boot camp will return with a six-week program starting July 17. Sailing lessons will also return for ages 7-16 beginning June 28 for beginners, intermediate and advanced.
The Fun in the Sun summer camp is designed for children ages 5-8 and includes crafts, lawn games and other fun activities. The six-week program begins in July. For older kids aged 7-14, the sports program begins in July as well. Summer recreation programs, including a soccer program and youth and Pee-Wee basketball clinics, will also resume this summer.
Typically, the number of children in the older programs reaches about 70, while the younger programs are in the mid-50s. However, this year, Giustizia anticipates even higher enrollment numbers. COVID-19 protocols will be adhered to, including social distancing, sanitizing and mask wearing.
“We have already been getting a lot of calls,” she said. “We are going to require masks and were just going to have to make it work.”
Also returning will be youth art workshops, an August paint night, senior social groups including Mah Jongg and chair yoga, the annual old-timer’s baseball game scheduled for Sept. 4, the Snapper Derby scheduled for Aug. 28 and the ever-popular Walk-Through Zoo in November.
Last, but certainly not least, the newly renovated pickleball courts will be open at the Four Sisters Sports Complex and the summer concert series at Shorefront Park is also expected to resume with That 70s Band on Aug. 7, Amber Ferrari on Aug. 14 and Kids Dance Party on Aug. 27.
“After what we went through last year, it is exciting to have anything,” said trustee Joseph Keyes, who helped in the planning of the programming. “We are looking forward to a good turnout and to see all the kids’ faces again.”