City launches its summer activities

WILLIAM STEPHENS SR.

News Review Correspondent

The city of Ridgecrest Parks and Recreation Department is offering a wide variety of programs this summer to keep participants of all ages engaged, entertained and learning all summer long.

According to Ridgecrest City Councilmember Lindsey Stephens, one of the most highly anticipated developments this year is the new splash pad, which is expected to open within the next month.

The splash pad, which will feature prefabricated water features that can be enjoyed during daylight hours, is under construction at Freedom Park, located between the Kerr McGee Community Center and City Hall.

Families will be invited to come and cool off at the facility, which will also feature shade structures and picnic tables. There is no cost for admittance, but parents are advised that they will be responsible to supervise their children.

“I wanted it to be free for anyone to come,” said Stephens, who got the idea for the project from her home town in Kansas. The park will have a patriotic theme to tie it into the Freedom Park concept.

She said construction has been held up by the county to accommodate permitting, staffing changes and soil testing.

The splash pad is part of the “Freedom Park Enhancement Project,” which aims at creating a community gathering place at the city park.

The popular Family Movie Nights have been put on hold for the summer, since night falls so late, but will return in September with a showing of “Wonder” on the inflatable outdoor screen. Families are invited to attend at no cost, but are encouraged to provide their own seating.

Food will be available for purchase from local vendors, or families can bring their own picnics.

Other popular activities that will be offered during the summer include creative-brain camps, Lego Engineering Camp, video game design and a STEM summer day camp.

A few new activities this year include summer art classes, beginning cooking and Nutrition, rock painting and “Parkidz” Summer Day Camp — Parkour training for children by the Infinite Movement Academy.

Those looking for more physical activities can participate in tennis, horse camp, British soccer camp or Pickleball.

According to City Recreation Director Lance Foster, summer programs typically draw between 900 and 1,000 participants. However, that number may grow this year, given the added attractions.

“It’s hard to say how we will finish out for the total registrations this year as we continue to take registrations throughout the summer.”

Registration for all activities is available at the Kerr McGee Center or online at https://ridgecrest-ca.gov/recreation. More information is also available at the city’s Facebook page, https://facebook. com/kerrmcgee/.

The summer hours for the Parks and Recreation Department are Monday 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Tuesday-Friday 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Saturday 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. The Parks and Recreation Department will be closed Sundays.

For more information call 760-499-5151.

Story First Published: 2018-06-08