In summer 2021, Bloomington Parks and Recreation offered 10 weeks of fun experiences from June to August.
“People were excited and eager to get back to some normalcy with Parks and Recreation programs and events after a one-year hiatus,” said Recreation Manager Alison Warren. “Due to staffing shortages, we had to cancel a few beloved youth summer programs. But on the bright side, children and families were able to enjoy a more close-knit community.”
The youth Summer Adventure Playgrounds program was full to capacity with a waitlist throughout the summer. Even without the typical field trips due to COVID-19, participants had a blast, day in and day out. The return of Arts in the Parks events exceeded normal attendance numbers, especially during the Midweek Music and Market, which featured additional food trucks and local breweries.
Adult sport leagues like softball, tennis and kickball went off without a hitch. Bloomington hosted numerous youth sports tournaments as well. New this year, Parks and Recreation introduced a partnership with Soccer Shots. This high-energy program that introduces kids to the fundamentals of soccer, proved popular with summer sessions filling up quickly. Loosened COVID-19 restrictions also allowed for the return of Summer Fete, a popular community gathering that people greatly missed in 2020.
“Seeing the excitement, smiles and happiness at all of our programs, events and facilities was something our staff greatly missed in 2020,” Warren said. “We were thrilled to see so many people enjoying our offerings, and we can hardly wait to offer a full slate of programs next summer!”