Although the city of Grandview Heights has canceled its Memorial Day parade and Tour de Grandview Cycling Classic and announced the municipal pool would remain closed for the 2020 season, the parks and recreation department is planning some alternative events.
The Tour de Grandview Virtual Race will be held June 1-12, and the city will provide details later this month on how residents will be able to remember and honor the community's veterans, said Mike Patterson, parks and recreation director.
These events are substitutes for the traditional activities that have served as "kind of the official kickoff to summer in Grandview Heights," he said.
Having to cancel so many events is "very tough," Patterson said.
"This is normally our fun time, our fun season," he said. "We're trying to come up with some activities that people can enjoy and to try to provide some semblance of normality during an unusual time."
"We can't wait to get back to normal and hold all of our regular activities," recreation supervisor Taylor Lindsey said.
The Tour de Grandview Virtual Race will offer residents the opportunity to earn rewards when they hit mileage goals as they bike, walk, run or ride a scooter around town during the 12-day event.
Participants may count their miles using activity trackers, including Fitbit or Apple Watch, and turn in their results for such rewards as drawstring bags and T-shirts.
The cost is $10 for adults and $5 for youths (ages 17 and younger) and seniors. Residents should register at grandviewheights.org/onlinereg. Registration closes May 31.
The city will provide a fitness tracker to anyone who needs one, Lindsey said.
"On the online registration form it asks if you don't have a device and if you don't, we'll arrange to get one to you," she said.
"Our hope is we will be able to turn this into an annual event we'll hold leading up to the bike race each year," Lindsey said.
The cancellations for Memorial Day weekend include the annual Blue Star Mothers ceremony May 21 at Memorial Park and the Memorial Day parade May 23.
The municipal pool also was scheduled to open for the season May 23, but Mayor Greta Kearns announced the cancellation of the Memorial Day parade and pool season May 2.
The decision to cancel these events and keep the pool closed for the season "was really hard to do. The pool and our Memorial Day parade mean so much to our community," Kearns said. "It just got to the point where we had to make a call about the pool."
The state's updated stay-safe order "doesn't even mention a reopening time for pools at all," Patterson said.
The restrictions the state guidelines continue to set regarding social distancing and limiting the size of gatherings make opening a public swimming pool impractical if not impossible, he said.
"We looked at all kinds of options to see if there was a way we could open the pool," Kearns said. "We were even considering whether we could work out a system of setting aside different times for each school grade level, since our class sizes in Grandview are so small.
Opening a pool involves more than just filling it with water, Patterson said.
It requires hiring and training lifeguards, cleaning the pool facility and balancing the chemicals in the pool, he said.
The start-up process had been delayed, and 20 to 30 days would be needed to prepare the pool for opening, Patterson said.
It isn't likely plans could change and a truncated season be salvaged, but city officials will monitor whether state guidelines regarding public gatherings and pools change, he said.
All pool fees will be refunded, Patterson said.