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Sertoma Splash Pad opens for the season
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Sertoma Splash Pad opens for the season

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The warm, sunny weather on Wednesday was the opportune time for the City of Beatrice to open the Sertoma Splash Pad at Sertoma Astro Park for the summer season.

Members of the Beatrice Sertoma Club arrived to the park, located at 19th and Hoyt streets, to have a grand opening for the splash pad and see the community using the structure that the club fundraised for.

Sertoma Sergeant-at-Arms Phil Knowles said the project was first started by the city’s Public Properties Director, Mark Pethoud, and then Knowles and fellow Sertoma member Allen Grell helped co-sponsor the project.

“We had a GoFundMe page, and almost all of the banks donated money to the project, and a lot of Sertomans worked on it…It’s been fun, and we do have more plans for this park,” Knowles said. “We hope to get a playground in here, and if I understand it right, it might be one of the biggest playgrounds in Beatrice. They might take out some of the little playgrounds in here and put a big one in, and we hope it happens. We’re very proud of Astro Park.”

Knowles said there is also a splash pad at the Beatrice Mary Family YMCA. He said bigger cities like Grand Island and Kearney have multiple splash pads, and that the one at Astro Park, as well as the YMCA and the pool at The Beatrice Big Blue Water Park, provides more opportunities for kids.

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“From what I remember from last year, there’d always be a bunch of kids here, a lot of mothers sitting in the shade over here in the rest area,” Knowles said. “It’s really a nice park. It’s got a lot of concrete, nice restrooms that the city put in for us, drinking fountains. We’re very happy with all of that.”

Pethoud said that the city is going to let the Splash Pad run for a couple of days to make sure it’s ready to go for Memorial Day weekend and the rest of summer. He said his staff is also preparing for the water park, located at 1219 Scott St., to open on Saturday.

“Everything is running, pumps are running, the guards are down there cleaning up,” Pethoud said. “My staff’s been down there for about the last week and a half, getting things ready. We’re just kind of doing the final touches, and we should be ready to go for Saturday. Weather pending, or course.”

The three-day weekend weather prediction includes partly cloudy with a high of 70 degrees on Saturday, cloudy with a high of 65 degrees on Sunday, and possible thunderstorms on Monday with a high of 61 degrees.

The water park is open from noon to 7 p.m., with tickets costing $6 for adults, $5 for youths, $3 for grandparents, and $2 for twilight swim between 5-7 p.m.

Pethoud noted that the water park opened in mid-June last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and that there was a restriction on attendance at the beginning of the season.

“Hopefully, with no COVID this year, we’ll be busier…With it being open Memorial Day weekend, I think you’ll see more people attend, and I think kids are getting outside more now, too, since they were cooped up so much last year,” Pethoud said.

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