ALSTEAD, N.H. – Rain showers didn’t chase Vilas Pool Day goers away on Saturday July 8. Vilas Pool Park is a recreation area with swimming on Route 123A in Alstead, N.H. Face paint artist Linda Weiser invited folks to squeeze under her tent as raindrops came. Swim-suited children with sweaters draped on their shoulders ate hamburgers from the food stand under the rain. No sign of discontent, just smiles.
Sun broke out again. The dance pavilion, with a newly refurbished floor, filled with families to see Wildlife Encounters staff from Rochester, N.H., show four mammals and three reptiles. An African tortoise, with sharp claws for digging, a savannah dweller, made a hit. Another reptile, a costumed dinosaur taller than any mammal in the hall, greeted all prior to the show.
Children enjoyed dancing with a very big friendly “Mickey Mouse.” Parents snapped photos. Steve Blake helped a boy fill his popcorn bag. All Vilas Pool events have free popcorn for children. Blake worked in the 1950’s at Vilas Pool. Of Vilas Pool Blake explains, “Most everyone who grew up here worked here. For years volunteers raked the place, it takes a lot of time. Your kids learn to hate you. I bought the [mouse] costume about three years ago. Thought it would be a good addition to the pool, and also a dinosaur. They are used just on special occasions and for kids that have birthday parties… What we get from the trust fund doesn’t cover all for lifeguard and staff. We depend on weddings, other bookings, and donations.”
Black River Action Team director/volunteer Kelly Stettner shared dragonflies and damsel flies. She will host a free Dragons and Damsels canoe/kayak adventure, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Sunday, July 16, at Hoyt’s Landing public boat access in Springfield Vt., geared for adults and youngsters 10 and up.
Linda Weiser says, “I’m thrilled that they brought this back. It’s magical, this place. I have memories that won’t quit.” Painting a clown face per request on Andy Parker, an 11-year-old from Keene, Weiser created a moment likely to be remembered.
Vilas Pool Park is open Wednesday to Sunday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. A float, a slide to enter the water, kayaks, and paddleboats are all part of the fun. For more information, contact www.vilaspool.org.