MetroParks’ amenities to come out of a pandemic hibernation

Five Rivers MetroParks in coming weeks will reopen some amenities that remained dark last year because of the pandemic.

MetroParks is bringing back concessions, bike rentals, live music and the water play attraction at Island MetroPark.

The organization also hopes to open its new pedestrian bridge and activate the popular fountains in the river by the end of this month or early June.

Ohio has lifted some COVID-19 restrictions, most notably no longer requiring masks for residents who have been vaccinated.

MetroParks says it is still discussing and determining next steps for its services and operations.

“All of our current safety protocols regarding face coverings, social distancing and sanitizing practices remain in place until further notice,” said Shelli DiFranco, the organization’s director of marketing and public engagement.

Due to the pandemic, bike rentals and food concessions at RiverScape MetroPark did not come out of hibernation last year.

But bike rentals will resume on May 29, and food sales will begin the same day at one place and on June 1 at another.

Bike rentals are available during weekdays by reservation, but walk-up rentals are available on the weekends, between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m.

The RiverScape Cafe will be open from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Tuesdays to Fridays.

The fountain snack bar, near the center of the MetroPark, will be open Fridays to Sundays.

The organization also will reopen its water play feature at Island MetroPark on May 31, though capacity will be limited to 16 people.

MetroPark’s interactive fountains remained inactive in 2020 to help prevent the spread of illness. It’s unclear whether the RiverScape play fountain will reopen.

The fountains in the river at RiverScape will be turned on soon, hopefully later this month or early next month.

The Five Rivers Fountain of Lights usually turn on Memorial Day weekend, but they can’t begin operating until the new Deeds Point pedestrian bridge is completed.

The new bridge replaces a structure that rusted because water from the fountains got trapped inside metal support beams.

The fountain has five jets in the river that shoot 2,500 gallons of water per minute.

The fountains operate for 10 minutes at a time at the top of the hour, running from 6:55 a.m. to 9:55 p.m. on weekdays. On weekends, they start later, at 10:55 a.m.

Live entertainment, Music @ Lunch, returns June 1 and runs through Sept. 3.

The performances are from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. MetroParks says it also hopes to resume its summer music series.

The organization says it is still working with organizers of popular annual festivals to determine if they will take place this year.


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