Despite the snow cover on the ground in central Ohio, Whitehall's Parks and Recreation Department already has finalized many programs for residents to enjoy this summer.

"I think we have a good structure, but we are excited this year to enhance our program offerings," said Shannon Sorrell, the department's director.

This year, Whitehall will tailor a series of four "park parties" at the city's parks, Sorrell said.

"Last year, each park party was the same, but this year, we are bringing a unique theme to each park party," she said.

Dates have been selected for three of the four park parties.

The first park party will be held in May at Whitehall Community Park and likely will be tied to Star Wars Day on May 4.

John Bishop Park will host a park party June 2 and have an "I Spy" focus that will include a scavenger hunt.

Norton Field Park will play host to a June 12 event focused on magic, and Lamby Lane Park's party July 10 will have a farming theme, Sorrell said.

The city's Music in the Park series will return in 2019, but this year, the splash pad at John Bishop Park will remain open during concerts.

"We had families ask for it to be open (last year), so we are going to do that," Sorrell said.

The Music in the Park series will continue to be held each Sunday evening at John Bishop Park but will begin a half-hour later, at 6:30 p.m. rather than 6 p.m.

The change to a later start time was made to take advantage of cooler weather later in the evening, Sorrell said.

This year, because July 4 is on Thursday, the concert series will be held on nine consecutive Sundays, from June 2 to July 28.

"We hope to see more families this year," Sorrell said. "Bring side dishes and blankets and we will grill your hot dogs."

The city will increase the number of outdoor movie screenings at John Bishop Park this year.

There was but one last year, Sorrell said, and it drew an estimated 700 people.

This year, the city has scheduled shows July 26, Aug. 2 and Aug. 9.

Titles will be selected by online voting to be held later this year, Sorrell said.

Whitehall's Food Truck and Fun Festival will return for its seventh year July 27.

The daylong annual festival is held on South Yearling Road, which will be closed between Etna Road and Langley Avenue for the event.

Myriad free programs also are being offered this summer, including classes at either Whitehall Community Park or John Bishop Park in disc golf, archery and basketball.

Summer camps planned this year include those for COSI and a "Little Medical School," Sorrell said.

The city's summer programming will conclude with National Night Out, a Whitehall Division of Police event, on Aug. 6.

Many communities in central Ohio and throughout the United States recognize National Night Out on the first Tuesday of August as a way to encourage community neighbors to meet each other.

Kaitlin King, community affairs manager for Whitehall, said the city is "thrilled" to broaden its program offerings.

"The parks and recreation department works incredibly hard on their diverse options for residents (including) park parties, archery and more," she said. "Our events calendar is bursting at the seams this year."

kcorvo@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekCorvo