Hilliard's two outdoor municipal swimming pools will open for the season this weekend with a new safety initiative and music series.

Hilliard's two outdoor municipal swimming pools will open for the season this weekend with a new safety initiative and music series.

"We're starting an educational program this year for kids and adults called Swim Smart," said Steven Mazer, director of recreation and parks. "It's geared to making people aware of how they need to be attuned to their surroundings when they're swimming, whether it's in a pool or a lake, anywhere there's a body of water. You need to practice safety at all times."

Mazer said everyone who visits the pools will get a flyer on the subject, and the staff (including 135 lifeguards) will be happy to answer questions on safety. Swim lessons are also available for people of all skill levels.

The other pools in town, Aquatic Adventures and the Hilliard YMCA, are also a part of the Swim Smart program, Mazer said.

A Swim Smart party will be held 3-5 p.m. Sunday, May 29, at the Hilliard Family Aquatic Center (HFAC), 3850 Veterans Memorial Drive. The event will feature local band Swing's the Thing.

The pools will be open Saturday through Monday, May 28-30, close May 31-June 2, and then will reopen daily June 3 through Labor Day. For more information on hours and prices, call 614-876-5200, 614-876-4296 (HFAC), 614-334-4024 (a new number for the East pool) or visit hilliardohio.gov and click on the Play tab.

Based on the success of last year's Splash into Summer event, Mazer said there will be a music series called "Diving with the Decades" Fridays from 6-8 p.m. June 10-July 15. There will be groups from the 1940s to the 2000s represented, with free admission after 5 p.m. to those born in the decade of the week.

According to the city, a facelift to the Hilliard East Municipal pool, 4450 Schirtzinger Road, and a bridge entrance and additional parking at the back of the HFAC should be completed by opening day.

At a time when other central Ohio cities ponder whether to continue operating swimming pools, Hilliard maintains its two.

"From the city of Hilliard's standpoint and the Hilliard Rec and Parks, we know how important the pools are to the community, and we do everything we can to continue service," Mazer said.