Connellsville firms plans for summer recreation

| Thursday, Jan. 23, 2014, 5:48 p.m.

Connellsville Recreation Board is looking forward to a new year and is making plans that include new ideas and ones that will build on past events.

The board is studying expansion of its summer sports camp programs and is looking to add outdoor volleyball and maybe swimming and diving.

“Kids need structure, and if they have structure, then they are more willing to participate,” said Vern Ohler, Connellsville Street Department manager and recreation board member.

The summer program includes basketball, golf, tennis and flag football.

“We added football a few years ago, and the tennis has gotten big,” he said.

The summer sports camps will be offered for six weeks in the summer. A schedule has not yet been determined. The board is waiting to see how the winter weather will affect snow makeup days in the Connellsville Area School District, said Ohler.

The board will be bringing back Movies in the Park. These are family-friendly films that will be shown every other Friday starting June 13 in East Park.

“We are in the process of narrowing down our list now with the movie company,” Connellsville Recreation Board President Melissa Tzan said. “As always we are looking for movie sponsors. They run about $300 per movie and are a great way to give back to the community. The concession stand will be open, and the movies are always free to the public.”

The triathlon will be returning this year in August. The board hopes the weather will be a bit drier than last year when summer rains caused the river to swell to the point that the swimming part of the competition had to be canceled for safety purposes.

“We plan on doing the triathlon again and hope to see its popularity grow even more,” Tzan said. “Last year participants were lower due to the high river and them not being able to swim, and we will once again have breakfast in the park available to participants and onlookers.”

The fall Tangled Up in Brew was a huge success last year, and the group plans to again host the beer-tasting competition with a few added activities.

“We will be adding a chili cook-off to our home brewers event, Tangled up in Brew,” Tzan said. “It was extremely successful last year, and we hope to add another element this year with the chili cook-off, and as before we will have live music and food available.”

The board plans to stay busy with its work in Mountz Creek Park, where it hopes to erect a pavilion and playground equipment. The board is planning to host at least three volleyball tournaments at the site along with the sand volleyball leagues.

“The rec board exemplifies what it means to give back to your community,” said Greg Lincoln, Connellsville mayor and former recreation board member. “They receive no money from the city budget. They raise all the money to have free events in the city, too. I was very proud to be on that board. I look forward to helping with any cleanups or events they have this year.”

The board is always in need of volunteers for its events and is looking for a few volunteers to fill open seats on the board.

For information on the board, visit its Facebook page at Connellsville Rec Board.

Marilyn Forbes is a contributing writer.

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