Sign of Middletown’s budget improvement: Restarting a summer recreation program

Middletown is offering residents a modest summer recreation program this year.

City officials said during the Great Recession, Middletown was forced to cut back on many services, including recreation programs, due to budget constraints. As city revenues have slowly improved over the past several years, the city is exploring the creation of recreational activities at various parks around the city, and Middletown City Council has expressed interest in having a summer recreation program in 2019, officials said.

At its May 28 meeting, council approved the appropriation of $30,000 to provide recreational activities for residents this summer. City officials said they will be partnering with several local organizations such as the YMCA and Community Building Institute to provide multiple programs that will be offered to children of various ages.

That funding will help the city with a new program being planned is the Summer Adventure Night at Smith Park.

The free family event, which runs from 6 to 8 p.m. June 25, will feature an animal display from the Columbus Zoo that will include a mixture of mammals, reptiles and birds. Physical contact may be permitted with the animals depending on its type.

Quinlivan said the animals will be there from 6 to 7 p.m. due to the stress on the animals.

The event will also feature Trooper the dog and donations will be collected on his behalf for Animal Friends. Suggested donations include dog and cat food, toys, treats and dog beds of various sizes, and towels.

Inflatables include a giant slide, mini basketball hoops, a football toss and a ring toss will be at the event along with a face painter and a balloon artist.

A K-9 demonstration will also be presented by Middletown police.

Other family-oriented events include:

Broad Street Bash from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. at Governor's Square in downtown Middletown. The free event that's open to the public are scheduled for May 22, June 5, June 19, July 3, July 17, July 31 and Aug. 14.

Summer Movies in the Park is entering its sixth year of providing free family movies planned for selected Friday nights throughout the summer. The events start with a pre-show at 7 p.m., and include snacks at 8:30 p.m. with the movie starting at 9 p.m. This year's schedule begins tomorrow in downtown Middletown behind the Pendleton Art Center and will feature the Disney movie "Christopher Robin."

Other movies on the 2019 schedule include:

  • June 21: "Solo: A Star Wars Movie" at Goldman Park.
  • July 12: "Show Dogs" in Downtown Middletown behind the Pendleton Art Center.
  • July 26: "Incredibles 2" at Goldman Park.
  • Aug. 2: "Mary Poppins Returns" in Downtown Middletown behind the Pendleton Art Center.
  • Aug. 16: "Wonder" at Goldman Park.
  • Sept. 6: "Dumbo" in Downtown Middletown behind the Pendleton Art Center.

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