Jason Shelton

JASON SHELTON

Summer has officially arrived and despite the pandemic, the City of Tupelo offers wonderful activities for you and your family. The summer of 2020 looks a little different as we must adhere to CDC guidelines and executive orders, but there are many safe and fun outdoor activities for all ages to enjoy and explore in our city. It’s time to get outside and take advantage of the sunshine!

Tupelo Parks & Recreation has answered the call to deliver all the sports and activities our citizens enjoy each year. Here are a few of the happenings:

• Splashpads are open from 12 noon until 5 pm each day; locations at Theron Nichols Park, Joyner City Park, Veterans Park, Fairpark

• All city playgrounds are open including all restrooms

• Tupelo Aquatic Center is open – several activities and classes are offered including Aqua Fitness, Aqua Zumba, Yoga, Water Works, and swim lessons for all ages. Call 662-840-3768 for more information.

• Soccer Camp – June 22-26 and July 13-17

• Soccer Goalkeepers Camp – June 22-26

• Soccer Striker/Keepers Camp – July 21-13

• Tupelo Futbol Club Pre-season Camp – July 30 and Aug. 1-2

• Fall registration of soccer, flag football and cheerleading – June 8-28

Registration for all camps and activities may be done online at www.tupeloparksandrec.com. All playgrounds, restrooms and splashpads are thoroughly cleaned throughout the week. Tupelo Parks & Recreations asks that all health guidelines and social distancing are used at their facilities.

We are fortunate to have not only a top-notch Parks & Recreation department offering dozens of options, but also other creative and fun outdoor opportunities in Tupelo. Check out some of these activities:

• Music Bend Nature Trail – This beautiful, wooded walking trail located at 99 N. Veterans Blvd., is a favorite among nature lovers and passes beside a creek where Elvis Presley reportedly swam as a boy.

• King City Cycles – Take advantage of Tupelo’s Bike Share program with a bicycle stroll. King City Cycle rental locations are Fairpark, Front Street, Broadway Street, and Elvis Presley Birthplace.

• Blackland Prairie – Did you know that one of the five beautiful hiking sections of the Natchez Trace National Scenic Trail is right here in Tupelo? The six-mile long Blackland Prairie Section runs through forested areas, bottoms, and the Chickasaw Village site at milepost 261.8. For more information call 662-680-4027.

• Fishing – This still remains a family favorite! Grab a pole and head to one of our parks. You can cast a line at Veterans Park or Ballard Park. These lakes are managed by MDWF, so don’t forget to bring your fishing license.

• Farmers Depot – Summertime means the garden is coming in and fresh fruits and vegetables abound! Visit the Tupelo Farmers Depot at 415 S. Spring St. each Saturday from 6 a.m. until noon for the freshest produce and homemade jams, jellies and other delectable treats.

Independence Day is just around the corner, and the City of Tupelo is still celebrating! We must continue be vigilant in our fight to prevent the spread of COVID-19, so we will be unable to accommodate the large crowds this year. We will still deliver a spectacular fireworks show starting at 9 p.m. in Fairpark. We are asking that you please park and remain in your car to enjoy the show and celebrate America’s 244th Birthday!

Summertime is the best season to get outside and enjoy our beautiful city. Because many of us were quarantined for so long, it’s a welcome change. I encourage you to take advantage of the many opportunities the City of Tupelo offers. Remember to check with www.cdc.gov to ensure that you and your family are following protocol and guidelines as you plan your activities. Have a safe and happy summer!

JASON SHELTON is the mayor of Tupelo. Readers can contact him at jason.shelton@tupeloms.gov

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