Summer Recreation Programs Offer Wide-Ranging Opportunities

By Mike Barhorst - Contributing columnist

Sidney’s Parks and Recreation Department is gearing up for another fun-filled summer! The 2016 Summer Recreation program catalog was recently released. It is available online (

Semi-pro fisherman Gary Ginter will be helping kids in grades K-8 learn basic ways to cast, pitch and flip fishing poles; use of basic types of lures versus live bait; basic ways to increase their fish catching ability and to tie a good knot. This two-day session precedes the annual fishing derby, scheduled for June 29. The fishing derby will offer prizes for the largest fish, the most fish caught, and the smallest fish caught.

In conjunction with Amos Memorial Library, Stories in the Park is again being offered each Wednesday from June 8 through July 20 at 11:00 a.m. Included in the 30-45 minute session will be stories and some group activities. The location of the program moves from park to park throughout the summer. The listing of locations is included in the 2016 catalog.

Movie Day at the Senior Center is another popular event with the kids! The event is scheduled for June 10 and open to kids K-8. Parents are welcome to stay and watch the selected movie with their child, or use the opportunity to escape and do some shopping, without the added help of their little ones.

Weather forecasters are calling for a hot summer. If it is as hot as predicted, the pool will be the place to be. There are a number of events planned for the pool. They are outlined in the catalogue, and should prove to be hits.

Speaking of the pool, the Sidney Water Park will open June 4, and remain open through August 14. Season passes are $30, and provide the opportunity for the greatest value for families. A season pass allows the user access to the pool for less than 50 cents a day. Daily admission is $2.50 for preschool (ages 1-5) and $4 for all others.

The water park is also available for private parties, and could be the perfect spot for a family reunion. For most groups, the $250 rental gets you private access to the big pool, intermediate pool and slides. Rentals are available Thursday through Saturday from 7 to 9 p.m. and Sundays from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Pool Manager Ken Kellner can provide additional details.

For those seeking a closer relationship with nature, there is a Tawawa Creek adventure planned as well as general exploration of the trees, plants and animals living in Tawawa Park. Parks & Recreation staff will also be exploring the different trails in Tawawa Park each Monday and Wednesday from July 11 through August 3.

Sidney Police Community Resource Officer Mike McRill will be passing out bike registrations to anyone who brings their bike to Geib Pavilion on July 13. He will be at the park between 9:30 and 10:00 a.m.

Keeping kids in motion will also be a prevalent theme in 2016. From kids water aerobics, to dance to superhero themed fun fitness events there will be plenty of opportunities for your child to remain active this summer. In addition, summer swimming lessons will again be offered free of charge.

There are a number of new programs this summer. Those programs include Touch a Truck (K-5), Walk in the Park (K-8), Water Aerobics (grades 3-8), Dance (grades 3-8), Kids in Motion (K-8), Books and Game Swap (K-8), Egg Carton Planter (K-5), Fun Fitness (K-8), and a number of others. Check the catalogue for a complete listing.

The 2016 summer lunch program will again be offered from June 6 through August 12. The program, offered through the Ohio Department of Education Summer Food Service Program for Children, will be offered Monday through Friday at Brown Park (100 West Clay St.), Green Tree Park (800 Sixth Ave.), Humphrey Park (600 Buckeye Ave.), Berger Park (800 South Miami Ave.), Sherman Park (1000 Colonial Drive), Riverbend Park (1400 Constitution Ave.), the Salvation Army (419 Buckeye Ave.) and Alpha Community Center (330 East Court St.).

Summer lunch participants will also be eligible for the Summer Backpack Program. Every Friday, children participating in the program will be provided with weekend meals. The backpacks come filled with nutritious, easy-to-open food that does not require refrigeration or stove-top cooking.

From tennis to art and nature to board games, the summer recreation program has something for every age range. The events outlined are but a few that are available. Many require pre-registration and some have participation limits, so I would encourage you to complete and fill out and return the registration form in the program catalog as soon as possible.

Finally, many of these events would not be possible without the sponsorship funding from local businesses. The City of Sidney is fortunate to have so many generous businesses and individuals. Please thank the many program sponsors for their kindness.

By Mike Barhorst

Contributing columnist

The writer is the mayor of Sidney.

The writer is the mayor of Sidney.