MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — COVID-19 is postponing, and canceling, some of Minneapolis’ most popular summer activities.
No public aquatic facilities will open in the city, including beaches, wading pools and waterparks. No beaches, no waterparks.
“I certainly understand why,” said Nancy Allen, who lives on Bde Maka Ska.
Allen welcomes her granddaughters every summer for outdoors fun, and is disappointed their plans will most likely be called off.
“They have to hire people as lifeguards, and they can’t do that right now, so I think it’s a good decision,” Allen said. “Better to be safe than sorry.”
The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board says “the level of public congregation that takes place at aquatic facilities and the level of staff required to operate these facilities will make it impossible to open and manage these facilities safely this summer.”
However, some question whether the decision to close came too soon.
“It’s a little premature because I feel like everything is being taken one day at a time, one step at a time, so we’re not really sure where we’re going to be in August,” said Tara Williams of Minneapolis.
Outside of the water, Twin Cities Pride events in June have been postponed.
“To say that we weren’t going to do it was heartbreaking,” said Darcie Baumann, Twin Cities Pride’s board chair.
Baumann says they’re looking at virtually gathering online.
“Our community is strong, we are resilient and creative,” she said. “All that put together is really going to give us an opportunity to find new ways to connect with the community.”
The Rock the Garden music festival is canceled too.
Organizers say they’re deeply disappointed.
The Minneapolis parks system still has plenty for people following social distancing guidelines to enjoy, including trails, playgrounds and athletic fields.
The Minneapolis Parks and Recreation Board addressed the public’s questions and concerns Friday and says they’re following MDH guidelines and intend to allow as many spring and summer recreational opportunities as possible. All restaurants/concessions are still intended to open per usual, including takeout options. Lakes will still be open for boating, sailing, fishing, canoe and kayak rental, and some programs may be added if COVID-19 conditions improve.