Sisters Marie Geraci, 75, and Tonie Terrana, 90, have lived in Forest Park their entire lives and are quite familiar with the recreational offerings at the Park District. Joining dozens of excited children, they too were on hand Saturday as the season for swimming officially got underway.
May 24 marked the opening of the pool at the Park District, and if a long weekend wasn’t attraction enough, park officials served up ice cream and live music as well. Geraci said she already has her pool pass and is excited to go swimming this summer, but she wasn’t ready to get in the pool on opening day, noting that the temperature wasn’t quite right. Instead, the two women enjoyed the ice cream, listened to some music and took a tour of the recently renovated office facilities where the Park District is headquartered.
For 12-year-old Xavier Davis, however, the water was fine.
“The water is warm enough and today you don’t have to share the pool as much,” Davis said. “I’ll be here all summer.”
Davis was happy to be splashing away with his friends, Davonte Williams, 14, Andrew Stewart, 13, and Marcus King, 12. The pool was far from full, but around 50 kids got the swimming season started.
Davis made it clear that the opening of the park’s pool is not a day he likes to miss, as he looks forward to it all spring. Last year rain put a damper on the ceremony of the pool’s opening, but Davis gave this year’s event a big “thumbs up.”
Dripping wet, the four friends left the water long enough to enjoy ice cream sundaes and each had a serving topped with the works – whipped cream, chocolate and caramel sauce, sprinkles and a cherry on top. Splattering a bit on themselves in the process, they attacked their sundaes so they could return to the pool quickly.
Meanwhile, Geraci and Terrana enjoyed their ice cream at a slower pace. They sat against a wall listening to the students from the Forest Park Middle School band as the young instrumentalists played on a makeshift stage. Roughly 100 people soaked up the sounds and sun from the bleachers that had been set up for the day.