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Dickinson residents attend annual Splash Bash

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Little Safer smile after splashing water at his big brother, Thaer. (Josiah C. Cuellar / The Dickinson Press)

Despite the partly cloudy 72-degree weather and concern about the COVID-19 pandemic, residents of Dickinson emerged from their homes for the 4th Annual Splash Bash at West River Community Center's outdoor pool, albeit in smaller numbers than previous years.

The four-hour event was sponsored by the American Bank Center, which covers admission costs.

"They actually cover all costs as far as any admission that normally people would have to pay for to get access to the outdoor pool," said Caleb Burgard, facility supervisor with Dickinson Parks and Recreation. "We do still encourage our members to attend and scan in; however, it is free to nonmembers, which it normally wouldn't be. They bring in a DJ ... They provide free food, so we have hotdogs, chips and drinks."

There were also giveaways, which included a waterproof cell phone case and lip balm.

Due to the pandemic, parks and recreation staff took extra precautions in the interest of public safety.

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"We had to reduce our capacity. Normally we're allowed to get at least 500 people in through the outdoor pool gate," Burgard said. "This year we were only able to get 400 . . . As far as any areas where there's typically a line, for instance waiting for food or whether you're waiting to get in the front gates or the slides, we have those designated six feet apart (spots) . . . We've also taken extra cleaning breaks."

The event wasn't as well-attended as previous years.

“We’ve averaged right around 1,000 people each year . . . Without this event we only average about 100 to 200 people on days like this, so this is a great partnership for our community and for the city of Dickinson,” Burgard said.

Halfway through this year's event on Tuesday, they had just reached 225 guests.

Dickinson Parks and Recreation has other upcoming free events, especially in July, which is nationally recognized as Parks and Recreation month.

Kayla Henson is a former Dickinson Press reporter.
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