Chilly weather and bouts of rain over the holiday weekend meant area public pools did not see the big crowds they are used to seeing opening weekend.
“The weather is usually hit or miss but this was the first terrible Memorial Day weekend I remember,” said Stephanie Greene, manager of the Marietta Aquatic Center.
Around a dozen people showed up for the pool’s opening day Saturday and the lackluster attendance had forced the pool to close early Saturday, Sunday and Monday, she said.
The high temperature was only 65 Saturday and 69 Sunday and Monday.
But Tuesday was better, and Wednesday’s mid-80s temperatures drew out the kind of crown Greene is used to seeing for opening week, she said.
More than 100 people were lounging, swimming, sliding and playing at the aquatic center within an hour of opening Wednesday afternoon.
The hot weather made it an ideal day to kick off the pool season, said McConnelsville resident Chollie Treadway, 24, although the pool water hadn’t yet warmed up.
“It’s freezing,” she admitted.
Chollie and husband Zach were playfully dipping 1-year-old daughter Zakiyah in the chilly waters.
“We took her to Daytona Beach last year. I don’t want her to be scared of the water,” she said.
Zakiyah certainly did not mind the water, giggling as she clung to her father for more pool fun.
The Devola Pool was also in the middle of its first busy day Wednesday, said assistant manager Matt Roberts.
“It was unfortunate that it was cold this weekend. It was just dreary,” he said.
The pool was busy enough for regular hours Sunday and Tuesday but Wednesday was by far the busiest, said Roberts. Around 60 or 70 people were at the pool within two hours of opening, he estimated.
Wednesday just felt like a good day for the pool, said Marietta resident Lauren Martin, 16.
“The Devola Pool is just a good setting. It’s not too crowded. You have space to move. Everybody is friendly,” she said.
Martin, who was at the pool with friends Kenzi Hall and Whitney Gilkenson, both 16, said the group frequents the pool throughout the summer, typically coming three or four days a week.
Wednesday was not only Marietta resident Lauren Frawley’s first day at the Devola Pool but her first day at any area pool. Frawley, 22, and her family moved to Marietta in September and they’re still getting to know the area.
“This pool is perfect. We’ll definitely be coming back,” she said.
In between jumps from the Devola Pool’s diving boards, 10-year-old Carson Urban of Marietta said it was his second day at the pool.
“Today’s better because yesterday it was pretty cold,” said Urban, who added that he loves the friendly atmosphere at the pool.
Hopefully, the good weather holds up as other area pools start to open their doors, said Lowell Mayor David Pitzer.
The Lowell Pool has now ironed out an opening date and hours and is looking forward to a busy year, he said.
“We were hoping to open June 1, but we had some more pool maintenance to do and now we’re opening June 3,” he said.
The pool will be open Monday through Friday 1 to 5 p.m and 6 to 8:30 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday 1 to 6 p.m., he said.
The Beverly Pool also opened its doors Saturday, but only had about nine customers, said manager Lacey Brooker.
“It was pretty cold and boring,” she said.
By the time the weather broke Wednesday, people were itching for a swim, she said. Upward of 70 people were at the Beverly Pool Wednesday, she said.
“We were crammed and busy as soon as we opened. For two straight hours there were people coming though the door,” she said.
Though the water was still cold, Brooker said she was hopeful that this week’s hot forecast will mean the waters will be warm for weekend swimmers, she said.