Gilbert parks open, pools reopening for Memorial Day weekend

Desert Sky Park
Desert Sky Park's amenities are reopened, and the park will be the site of SanTan Cinemas, a town-sponsored drive-in movie experience. (Tom Blodgett/Community Impact Newspaper)

Desert Sky Park's amenities are reopened, and the park will be the site of SanTan Cinemas, a town-sponsored drive-in movie experience. (Tom Blodgett/Community Impact Newspaper)

Memorial Day has arrived during a pandemic and at a time when Gilbert’s parks and amenities are beginning to reopen.

Mayor Jenn Daniels is reminding residents to continue physically distancing.

“I know there’s a lot of celebrations out there, especially this weekend, particularly with graduations and all of the fun things,” Daniels said in her biweekly video message May 21. “We want to make sure you guys enjoy, and just keep in mind the disease is still out there.”

With that in mind, here is what is available through the town for the Memorial Day weekend.

Parks


Playgrounds; courts; restrooms; drinking fountains; grills; ramadas; trails; paths; and open spaces, such as fields, are all open for public use.

Cosmo Dog Park is reopened.

At Freestone Park, the skate park and recreation center are open. Other facilities that are open are the McQueen Activity Center and Cactus Yards. However, not all activities and amenities are open at those facilities. The town has a page on its website that gives additional details.

Pools

The pools reopen May 23 for public swims at 50% capacity.

While waiting for water slides, diving boards and facility entry, 6-foot physical spacing will be required. Equipment will not be shared. The public will not have access to the bleachers, picnic tables or administrative offices, and guests are encouraged to bring their own portable seating.

Restrooms will be closed three times a day for cleaning.

Rentals are not available.

Still closed

Splash pads and libraries remain closed.

Drive-in movies

The town is introducing SanTan Cinemas, a drive-in movie experience on Fridays and Saturdays at Desert Sky Park.

"Sonic the Hedgehog" will be shown at 8 p.m. May 22-23, and "Jumanji: The Next Level" at 10:15 p.m. May 22-23.

The cost is $25 per car, and tickets must be purchased online before arrival with a receipt required for entry. Tickets are nonrefundable and are not transferrable. Workers will direct cars to their spaces, and the cars will be arranged for optimal viewing.

Patrons are asked to watch from inside their car only and only leave to go to the restroom or food trucks. When doing so, they are asked to stay 6 feet apart and wear a cloth mask.

Park playgrounds and amenities will be closed, and the park lights will be off for movie viewing.

Patrons are asked to arrive 30-60 minutes before the 8 p.m. movie and 20-30 minutes before the 10:15 p.m. movie. No entry will be permitted 10 minutes after the movies start.
By Tom Blodgett

Editor, Gilbert

Raised in Arizona, Tom Blodgett has spent more than 30 years in journalism in Arizona and joined Community Impact Newspaper in July 2018 to launch the Gilbert edition. He is a graduate of Arizona State University, where he served as an instructional professional in the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication from 2005-19 and remains editorial adviser to The State Press, the university's independent student media outlet.