The first and official day of summer may still be a little ways off, but summer fun has just begun for many students in the area who have finished the school year.
To many the end of the school year, among other things, is a reminder that SplashZone, Rolla’s outdoor water park, located in beautiful Ber Juan Park, is opening. SplashZone opens today, May 23 from 12-noon to 6 p.m. and will remain open throughout the summer months Monday through Friday (noon-7) and Saturday and Sunday (noon-6 p.m.). SplashZone is one of the great vacation bargain get-aways at $4.50 per person, for folks in the Meramec Valley Region and one of the local summer favorites in Rolla and Phelps County. Closing day at SplashZone will be on Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 7 (noon-5 p.m.). For more information for special events, private rentals, swimming lessons and other information, please visit call SplashZone at 364-8222 or visit www.org/centre/splash.
The summer hours at The Centre, Rolla’s 63,000-square-foot health and recreation complex, (located at 1200 N. Holloway Street), have also gone into 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 (9 a.m.-5 p.m.).
One of Rolla’s most well known and attended events is just a week away as well. The 15th Annual “Route 66 Summerfest” kicks off Thursday, June 4 at 5:30 p.m. with the Miss “Route 66” Pageant at Rolla Middle School. On Friday, June 5 at 4 p.m. classic cars, custom cars and motorcycles will gather at the St. James Visitor Center before “cruising” along old Route 66 from St. James to Rolla’s Downtown Festival Park at 7 p.m. At 5:30 p.m. Friday evening the Association of the United States Army (AUSA) BBQ Picnic will be held in the downtown festival area at the corner of 9th and Elm streets. Anyone interested in obtaining tickets ($8 ea.) for the picnic, which includes barbecue, cole slaw and baked beans, can contact Rick Morris at (573) 578-8567.
Also on Friday at 7 p.m. bring your lawn chair for the Miss Route 66 crowning ceremony and plan to stay for a “drive-in” movie and all the popcorn you can eat. Also, the skateboard track will be open for skateboarders young and old.
On Saturday morning, June 5, you’ll find coffee and doughnuts in the food court, the arts and crafts festival on 9th Street, the classic car show on Pine Street and the motorcycle show on 8th Street. Sporting events include the “Friends of Tennis” Tennis Tournament at 8 a.m. at the Ber Juan Tennis Complex, Sand Volleyball Tournament and Tour-de-Phelps leisurely ride to St. James and back, which begins at 8 a.m. There’s face painting, inflatable games, horseback rides, and the giant sandbox for the young kids and skateboarding for the older ones.
Saturday afternoon is the downhill derby (12-noon), kids bicycle and tricycle race (2 p.m.), the Fire Truck Pull (4 p.m.) and the always popular burnout contest at 6 p.m. Saturday evening there’s a FREE street dance at 8 p.m. with the very exciting St. Louis band, Sh-Boom. There are many more events, so come prepared to spend the day.