The last day of school for over 4,000 students who attend Rolla Public Schools was yesterday, May 18, and with warmer temperatures, and summer vacation just around the bend, it’s almost time for the 17th annual Route 66 Summerfest and opening day of SplashZone, Rolla’s outdoor water park.
SplashZone, located in Ber Juan Park off 14th Street, will be opening soon, and the Parks and Recreation Department will notify the public shortly regarding the announcement of opening day. SplashZone will remain open throughout the summer months Monday through Friday (noon-7) and Saturday and Sunday (noon-6 p.m.). At $4.50 per person, it is a great vacation bargain for folks in South Central Missouri. Closing day at SplashZone will be on Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 3 (11 a.m. – 4 p.m.). For more information for special events, private rentals, swimming lessons and other information, please call SplashZone at 364-8222 or 341-2FUN.
The summer hours at The Centre, Rolla’s 63,000-square-foot health and recreation complex, (located at 1200 N. Holloway Street), are also in effect. Hours at The Centre are now Monday through Friday (5:30 a.m.– 9 p.m..); Saturday (8 a.m.–5 p.m.) and Sunday (11 a.m.-5 p.m.).
With the Memorial Day weekend just around the corner, I would like to remind everyone that Rolla City Hall and the Environmental Services Department will be closed on Monday, May 28. Monday’s trash will be picked up on Tuesday and Tuesday’s trash will be picked up on Wednesday, and there will be no special pick ups on Wednesday. The Centre will be open Memorial Day from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and SplashZone will be open from 12-noon to 5 p.m.
Also on Memorial Day, May 28, The Rolla Chamber will be hosting a Memorial Day service beginning at 10 a.m. at Veterans Memorial Park, located on Southview Drive off Hwy. 72. The service is open to the public, and provides a great opportunity to pay tribute and homage to the millions of brave men and woman who, throughout the years, have protected our nation in time of war and peace.
One of Rolla’s most popular and widely attended events is just two weeks away as well. The 17th Annual “Route 66 Summerfest” will be held Friday, June 1 through Sunday, June 3 in downtown Rolla. Summerfest originally started as an effort to promote downtown Rolla, but it has evolved into an area wide celebration for all ages to promote old U.S. Route 66 and the beginning of summer. The action starts on Friday morning, June 1 as portions of downtown are closed as food vendors and musicians set up for the evenings’ festivities. At 4 p.m. hundreds of classic cars, custom cars and motorcycles gather at the St. James Visitor Center before “cruising” along old Route 66 from St. James to Rolla’s Downtown Festival Park. At the same time, back in downtown Rolla, the annual Association of United States Army (AUSA) evening meal for AUSA members (tickets: $8) and anyone else who supports the military will be held. Enjoy the 399th Army Jazz Band while you select food and drink from various vendors in the festival lots across from Rolla City Hall on 9th Street.
At 6 p.m. the Friends of Tennis Summerfest Tennis Tournament (Men’s & Women’s Doubles and Mixed Doubles) begins at the Ber Juan Tennis Complex (and continues on Sunday, June 3 at 1 p.m.) On Friday evening bring your lawn chair for the Miss Route 66 crowning ceremony at 7 p.m. at the Rolla Downtown Bandshell, and plan to stay for an outdoor ‘Movie Under the Stars’ (Dolphin Tale) and all the FREE popcorn you can eat. The giant sandbox for kids, and skateboard track will also be open.
Summerfest festivities continue on Saturday morning, June 2 at 7:30 a.m. at the downtown bandshell with the Tour-de-Phelps leisurely bike ride to St. James and back. The Route 66 Motorcycle Classic begins at 8 a.m. on 8th Street and the classic car show on Pine Street. At 9 a.m. enjoy arts and crafts, food vendors, kids activities (face painting), Army National Guard Climbing Wall, giant sandbox/segway rides, and skateboard games by Party Pro. At 10 a.m. the Criterium Bicycle Race begins as well as the Hot Foot Pursuit 5k/10k walk/run at the Rolla Downtown Band Shell (proceeds will benefit Special Olympics Missouri), followed by the kids tricycle and bicycle races at 11:15 a.m. The Downhill Derby and Rolling Thunder Parade begin at 12:30 p.m. followed by the burnout contest at 6 p.m. At 8 p.m. you won’t want to miss a FREE outdoor street dance/concert at the Downtown Bandshell featuring Rolla’s own Pseudo Blues (with Special guest Kait Weston). On Sunday, June 3 the Hellbender Bicycle Road Race begins at 10 a.m. and the continuation of the Summerfest Tennis Tournament begins at 1 p.m. at the Ber Juan Tennis Complex.
For a complete list of Summerfest activities and events, and registration forms for sporting events, please visit www.route66summerfest.com. For a complete listing of more events and festivities planned in the Rolla and Phelps County area, please visit www.rollacity.org/events.
Have a nice weekend and a safe week. See you at Summerfest!