Holiday weekend marks opening for many pools
HUNTINGTON — Memorial Day marks the unofficial first day of summer and the official first day of pool season for many facilities across the Tri-State as hundreds took advantage of cooling off on a hot Saturday — the first of many to come as the season opens.
One of the Tri-State’s oldest continually operating establishments, Dreamland Pool in Kenova kicked off its 92nd season Saturday. Going strong after being saved by volunteer efforts in 2015, Dreamland now sports a new basketball court and a sand volleyball court this year, as well as a concession stand stocked with treats from Ceredo’s own Austin’s Homemade Ice Cream.
Dreamland Pool opened in 1926 and was once the largest swimming pool in the United States east of the Mississippi River, measuring 250 feet by 125 feet.
Dreamland sports two cement floats in the middle of the pool to allow swimmers a place to rest. Dreamland Pool was renovated in 2008 and in 2015 when volunteers from Marathon Petroleum helped open the pool with about $125,000 worth of contributions and volunteer labor. A donation from the Hammer Foundation allowed for the painting of the pool ahead of the 2017 season.
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Dreamland is open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from noon to 6 p.m. Sunday. Special discount admission will be $2 Tuesday and $3 Thursday. Admission other days is $4, while those ages 3 and under are admitted for free.
In Lesage, Saturday was also opening day for the YMCA Kennedy Center.
Completely renovated two years ago, the pool has two slides, a large and low diving board, a baby pool, changing and shower areas, gazebos surrounding the pool and deck, and reclining chairs. The pool is surrounded by about 80 scenic acres along the Ohio River. There’s youth and handicap-only fishing at a small pond at the front end of the property.
The Kennedy Center is open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from noon to 6 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $6 for nonmembers. A single pass for those 12 and older is $150, and a family pass (for up to five people) is $225.
For younger swimmers, the spray grounds at both April Dawn Park in Milton and Barboursville Park are both now open, operating daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. in Barboursville and 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. in Milton. Both are free.
At Beech Fork State Park south of Huntington, both the 50-meter swimming pool and the swimming area on Beech Fork Lake are open.
For the pool, hours are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, noon to 6 p.m. Sunday and closed Monday with the exception of holidays. For the swimming area, hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily through Labor Day.