For Juhki Peebles of Homewood, going for a swim at Lions Pool on the opening day of the season on Saturday, June 5, was exciting and gave him a feeling of hope.
The pool did not open in 2020 because of COVID-19 pandemic concerns. Juhki, who was swimming with his little brother Jewelle, said last year "was dreadful."
His assessment was shared by other swimmers.
Noreen Danadio was first in line before the doors opened at noon, she said.
"It's been a long time," she said. "Sitting in the back yard in the sun is not the same."
Danadio said she has been coming to the pool regularly for 40 years, and she isn't even a swimmer. She said she enjoys water exercises like walking and zomba, but what she missed most when the pool was closed last year was the opportunities for socializing.
"This is our corner," she said, referring to the southeast corner of the pool. "We just stand here and socialize."
Although she missed the pool last year, she complimented the park district on its handling of pandemic precautions intended to keep the community safe.
Danadio wondered about the early turnout Saturday, which was fairly small considering the weather was perfect for a cool dip, with the sun shining and temperatures topping 90 degrees, but swimmers continued to arrive as the afternoon wore on.
Pool hours this year are from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays and noon to 7 p.m. on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.
Lap hours are 10:15 to 10:45 a.m. Mondays through Sundays, and 5:45 to 6:15 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays.
This year the park district is offering a flat fee membership of $50 for residents and $75 for nonresidents. That entitles swimmers to use the pool any time. Swimmers also can purchase a daily pass for $10 for residents and $15 for nonresidents. The lap fee is $4 for residents and $5 for nonresidents.