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More events on the horizon for Hastings Parks & Rec

Department reflects on summer events with COVID-19 procedures, plans more events
Published: Jul. 23, 2020 at 8:55 AM CDT
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HASTINGS, Neb. (KSNB) - Earlier in the summer, Hastings Parks & Recreation Department decided it would host its annual men’s and co-ed softball leagues and weekend softball tournaments, two staple programs for the department. With COVID-19 safety measures and a few changes in place, the department can now reflect on how things have gone and remain hopeful for upcoming events.

No handshaking, no spitting seeds, no base stealing and teams must use their own softballs are just a few measures in place for the softball leagues. There was also a schedule change - playing two games per night rather than three. With the changes and people’s personal hesitation, attendance and registration numbers have been down but the league has gone off without a hitch regardless.

Youth tennis is another program that recently started up and has minor changes. Less contact between people and no sharing of rackets are two primary focuses. The main goal of course being to decrease the amount of contact among participants.

The department said people have been more than willing to make minor sacrifices if it means events and programs can continue.

“There was a point in time we thought we weren’t going to have a season at all until Governor Ricketts came out and said ‘Hey, we can now do some of these things’ and I think people are grateful for that and just appreciating that we’re out there on the field and having a good time,” Ryan Martin, the Recreation Superintendent for Hastings Parks & Rec, said.

As these programs continue on successfully, it allows the department to look into more programs and events and schedule them later in the summer.

At the end of July, Movie Night at the Parks will return at Lib’s Park. The department will also be hosting Community Olympics August 14-15 and a disc golf tournament. Each event will look slightly different than the past in an effort to maintain safety and social distancing but the programs are a welcome sight for many.

“We really missed seeing everybody interact with our programs,” Martin said. “So being able to do some of that at the end of the summer has been good to see everybody get out there and get some recreation in and get that cabin fever away and just have a fun time outdoors.”

Martin says the department is filling out applications with the South Heartland District Health Department for these events to ensure it has a solid plan in place in terms of social distancing, decreasing contact and keeping the community safe.

More information for ongoing and upcoming events and programs can be found at the Parks & Rec Department’s website.

Copyright 2020 KSNB. All rights reserved.

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