Music in the Park last year at the Rotary Pavilion in Levee Park.
News
Hastings opps for summer fun abound

By Brooke Shepherd

There are a variety of things to do in Hastings this summer. The Department of Parks and Recreation planned several events in Levee Park. The Aquatic Center is also open for swimming lessons and other activities.

Paige Marschall, the recreation programming specialist for the department, said the events at Levee Park are all free of charge. The park is located at 20 Ramsey St. The first gathering was the Summer Kickoff on June 7, which featured food trucks and live music. There will be musicians performing throughout Hastings parks for Make Music Day on June 21. Party in the Park will be held on July 12, from 5:30 to 8 p.m. This event will celebrate National Parks and Recreation month and includes a live animal show, activity booths and inflatables.

According to Marschall, once a month Levee Park will host Performance in the Park; the first performance is by Comic Magician & Illusionist on June 28, from 67 p.m.

Storytime in the Park takes place once a month on Wednesdays in partnership with the Pleasant Hill Library. The first one will take place at 11:15 a.m. June 15. Marschall said attendance can range from 30 to 130 kids. Storytime is recommended for children 10 years and younger.

Music in the park takes place every Thursday evening. Marschall said a large variety of music will be offered throughout the season. This week’s band, performing at 7 p.m. June 16, is called The Lonesome Losers. Other bands in the coming Thursdays range from Jazz, rock n roll, Southern rock tributes, funk, pop, blues, Latin fusion to acapella. Marschall said the turnout is anywhere from 250 to 450 people.

“It’s grown over the years,” said Marschall. “We receive funding through the Ruth and George Doffing Charitable Fund, so we were able to expand our Music in the Park series to bring in larger bands. We have some pretty awesome groups playing that have also played for the State Fair, like cover bands for larger acts. And then some local groups as well.”

According to Marschall, Music in the Park has become a staple, and has grown specifically through feedback from the community and visitors.

“We used to do one music a month, and then we moved to two, and now with our additional fund we have expanded that to every Thursday,” said Marschall.

Movies are shown in the park every Friday, starting on June 24. Activities begin at 8 p.m., and Encanto will be playing at 9 p.m.

The Hastings Aquatic center opened last week. Theresa Faustini, the aquatics manager, said they offer swim lessons ranging from infant to Red Cross Level 6, junior lifeguarding, and lifeguard training. Private lessons are available for any age.

“The aquatic center not only provides a day of water fun for the whole family, but it also gives kids memories that will last a lifetime,” said Faustini. “Hastings is very fortunate to have such a place.”

The Aquatic Center has variety of water fitness options, as well as lap swimming and time for parents to swim with their toddler. Faustini said on Sundays only, floatation devices are allowed in the pool. People can also schedule birthday celebrations at the Aquatic Center. Decorations and cake can be included in the package.

“The birthday parties are a hit; in fact, we are mostly booked up for June,” said Faustini. “It’s the best venue for a summer birthday, plus parents don’t have to clean the house afterwards.”

For more information about events at Levee Park, visit www.hastingsmn.gov/programsandevents for a list of locations and times. For information related to the Aquatic Center, visit https://www.hastingsmn.gov/citygovernment/citydepartments/ parksrecreation/facilities/hastingsfamilyaquaticcenter

Photo courtesy of Paige Marschall

June 15, 2022