Parks & Recreation celebrates summer’s end

RIDGEFIELD — Despite some last-minute rescheduling, the Parks and Recreation Department’s Summer’s End Rec Party was a huge success.

Hundreds of families gathered in East Ridge Middle School’s main parking lot Saturday afternoon for a free fair full of mini golf, bungee trampolines, a kid-sized scrambler ride and a 300-foot zip line.

“This is an end-of-summer event for the community,” said department director Dennis DiPinto.

The party was originally scheduled to take place earlier in the day on the outdoor fields at the Recreation Center, but a chance of rain relocated the event to East Ridge. If the ground were to become wet, some of the apparatuses would have been impossible to remove from the fields.

“Weather plays a factor in all that we do, and we’ve got to roll with the punches,” DiPinto said.

For the past year and a half the department has also had to adjust to the changes and restrictions related to the pandemic, including the inability to host certain events.

“We’ve had some member-only events,” DiPinto explained, wherein the department had to keep tabs on attendees for the purpose of contact tracing. “We’re not required to contact trace ... outdoors, so we’re thrilled.”

The public was free to come and enjoy a number of activities, including suspension by bouncy bungee cords that had kids dancing high the air, and a breathtaking spin down the portable zip line, which reached speeds of over 20 miles per hour on the way down.

“We figured we would do a little something special for the end of summer,” DiPinto said.