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by Mark Cheffey
With the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, which severely limited park activities, now in the rear-view mirror, Flower City Park is now teaming with activity again.
“We are definitely back,” said Doug Meyers, Palmyra parks director, noting the pool, ball parks, shelter houses and other facilities are being used, maybe even more than before.
“I think everyone was glad to get back out to the park,” Meyers said.
The pubic pool was a major casualty to COVID-19 last year, but is already proving to be a favorite spot to cool off from the early summer heat.
“It’s just packed every day,” Meyers said, noting it helps to have a full crew of youths serving as life guards.
“I’ve got a really good set of employees, and Brenda Juette is running it, so it’s in good hands,” Meyers said.
Despite a rough start due to a spate of bad weather luck, Meyers said the ball fields are busy with leagues and tournaments this season.
Some early weekend tournaments got washed out, but a recent joint tournament with Bear Creek at Hannibal, brought 14 softball teams to Palmyra.
“It was packed,” Meyers said of the event.
The larger concession stand is also proving to be an extra-big draw where shaved ice, among other items continues to be popular.
“We have a lot of people come to the concession stand who are not even out here for the games,” Meyers said. “I guess people have missed the concession food.”
Planning to have a family or group gathering at one of the various shelter houses? Meyers said people need to get on the stick, because the shelter’s are busy with the waiting time for reservations reaching a month.
The park’s popular disc golf courses also continue to be a big attraction.
“We’ve got people out here playing all the time.
In a recent statewide poll, the Flower City Park’s disc golf courses ranked 11th in the state out of 29.
Harmony Bends, in Columbia, tops the list which also includes courses in Kansas City, St. Louis and the Ozarks.
The closet one on the list is the Lake ShowMe course in Memphis.
Special events are also on the horizon, including a rib fest, traditionally held in Hannibal, as well as a rodeo, being planned for this fall.
Park visitors will also see some on-going park improvement efforts.
Meyers said Memorial Drive is going to be resurfaced and indicatd it will be the first phase of several to fix some of the deteriorated roads throughout the park.
Also in the works will be the addition of more sidewalks to make the park more accessible to the handicapped.
Another welcome addition sometime this summer will be the long-awaited installation of lights at the newest of the park ball fields, Foster Field, which would open it up for more games.