But that’s OK. It was planned.
Children sprayed, splashed and laughed in, around and on Rotary Park’s splash pad Saturday morning, its first official day of use.
The Johnson City park’s new and inclusive boundless playground opened in April, but among its many features the most notable may be the splash pad. The pad has 10 different water sequences and is the first of its kind to call Johnson City its home.
Despite the clouds and only a few families at the park, the splash pad was open for business at 10 a.m. Saturday morning. The low attendance number doesn’t deter Johnson City Parks and Recreation Director James Ellis from expecting droves of families to enjoy the splash pad this summer.
“There were folks here at 9 a.m. waiting for the splash pad, even though it would only open at 10 a.m.,” Ellis said. “We have received tremendous calls from the public inquiring (about the pad’s) hours of operation.”
The splash pad will be open from Memorial Day weekend until Labor Day from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily, weather permitting. Ellis is positive that during the hotter months of June and July, the park will see days of more than 260 children, not counting upcoming special events to be held at Rotary.
“With the weather being nice and schools being out for the summer, I really think we’ll see an increase in numbers,” Ellis said.
However, with impending thunderstorms in the forecast, the park is ready for that, as well.
If it rains, the park’s staff has been ordered to close the splash pad for the day; if there’s lightning, the staff will clear the entire park and ask visitors to seek shelter.
But if the sun is shining, the water will be running — and Ellis suspects there will be no lack of visitors and summer fun.