By Rick Dandes
The Daily Item
NORTHUMBERLAND — If last week’s sweltering mid-90s heat wave was any indication of how hot this summer will be, Liberty Splashland, Northumberland Borough’s municipal park, could be in for a record-breaking season.
A free-admission day kicks off the 2013 season Tuesday at the park at 175 Prince St.
Although there will be several changes at the community pool, some things won’t change from last year, said park director and Northumberland Borough Councilman Greg Carl.
The park offers shallow swimming, lap lanes, 1-meter diving, double-drop slides, the Spray Zone sprayground, the Dump Tower, lounge chairs, the Liberty Cafe and the only bowl slide at a municipally owned and operated park in Pennsylvania, called the Liberty Bowl.
Opened late last year, a week before the park closed for the season, “the 45-foot-tall bowl slide will be operational for the entire swim season this time,” Carl said.
There are similar slides at Camelbeach in the Poconos and at Hersheypark, but nothing else like it in Northumberland County, he said. “When people talk about Northumberland, I’m hoping they will say that’s the place that has the bowl slide. I believe it will drive people here.”
Another change at Splashland is the new person in charge, manager Rebeka Kline, of Northumberland, who will be on site five days a week.
“Kline is certified in water safety and is qualified to teach classes in life-guarding and swimming,” Carl said.
Last year, she served as lifeguard at the pool the final few weeks of the season.
“I knew that Greg (Carl) would need to hire lifeguards,” she said. “But he’s not a lifeguard. I am. When Greg began to search for lifeguards, I began advising him on what to look for. Then he got the idea that I should instead do it.”
Lifeguard classes will run from June 10-14.
Cost of the class is $125.
Three week-long swimming classes are scheduled in June, July and August at a cost of $30 or $25 for early registration. The first session is June 17-28, the second is July 17-26 and the third is Aug. 5-16. Early registration dates are 10 days before the class begins.
One day, all-day general admission prices are $6 for individuals 5-foot-2 or taller; for those who are shorter, admission is $5 per person. For anyone younger than 5, admission is free.
Family passes have been discontinued.
The cost of individual season passes has dropped significantly. Last year’s individual season passes cost $80. But this year, residents — defined as those living in the 17857 area code — who are 5-foot-2 or taller will pay $45 and those who are shorter will pay $37.50.
Non-residents rates are $50 for those 5-foot-2 or taller and $41.50 for those who are shorter.
Resident and non-resident kids younger than 5 get in for free.
“Individually, having rates so low are fantastic deals,” Carl said. “Add that to the bowl slide and cooperating weather, and we expect to have a very good year.”
Hours 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily.
Visit online at: libertysplashland.com for more information or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.