Buffalo’s city pool opened for the first day of the year on Saturday, June 20. The pool opening was delayed in part because of COVID-19 restrictions and health concerns. The pool has modified in response to the pandemic in some ways including signage reminding people to social distance, an optional sanitation station at the front gate, and a new maximum capacity of 250 compared to the prior unenforced capacity.
Jack Gampetro, 5, lays on top of friend Samuel Hostetler, 4, while they wrestle in the grass alongside the pool on Saturday. The pair were their with both of their families and quickly shifted from wrestling over to the fountains.
The first few hours at the pool on the first day open stayed fairly quiet and low in attendance but got busier in the afternoon. Those who were present stretched across the pool, doing laps, cannonballs, floating, playing in the kiddie area, and just laying out in the sunshine.
Lori Leach, 12, treads water in the deep end of the pool while she waits for her dad to jump off the diving board after she did on Saturday, June 20, 2020. “It’s a Leach tradition. We come out ever first day of the year and we try to be the first people here,” Lori said. She says they have kept up this tradition since she was only a few years old.
Jerry Surrett lives in Buffalo and tries to come out to the pool everyday in the summer. Because Surrett works nights, he has days off and so makes it a daily habit to come enjoy the sunshine and the water. “I think I missed one day last year,” Surrett joked about how often he came last summer.
Briggs Gunderman, 3, eats sprinkles ice cream with his mom Teresa under the shade of a tree next to the pool around lunchtime on Saturday. Teresa was eating Huckleberry, although Briggs pointed out it tasted a bit like blueberry.
Samuel Hostetler, 4, speedwalks with two blow up balls on Saturday. One of the balls was stuck in one of the fountains for a while, held up by a column of water which the kids decided would stay there until the water turned off. Samuel quickly grabbed the ball when it shut off then they promptly turned the fountains back on.
Moving clockwise starting in pink, 13-year-olds Breanne Walker, Gretchyn Farris, Alyssa Reardon, Makayla Maddox and Payton Sullivan lay out in the sunshine during a group swimming break on Saturday, June 20, 2020.
JinEu Chea, 7, stretches out to grab the wall after swimming the width of the pool with his dad and sister on Saturday. Saturday was the first open day at the city pool. JinEu said his favorite type of swimming is the beats stroke and his sister LeAnn said her favorite part was doing cannonballs.
Despite COVID-19, Buffalo's city pool has officially opened for the year - conveniently on the first official day of Summer. Local families and community members flocked to the pool to cool off in the brisk water doing everything from cannonballs and laps to getting beach balls stuck in fountains. Because of the pandemic, bathrooms are cleaned every 15 minutes, a sanitation station is set up for people to use when they come into the pool area if they wish and a new maximum capacity has been set at 250.