Parks & Rec 2023 program guide includes re-energized activities, new events and programs, and plenty of family fun
COVINGTON, Ky. – If you thought last year’s Parks & Recreation calendar was packed with fun, wait until you see what’s on schedule for 2023.
The debut of new programs and events, along with ramped up and re-energized favorites, will take recreation in The Cov to a whole other level.
“One of our takeaways from last year was that people are just really hungry for recreation and fun, so this year we’re offering things like archery, astronomy, adult crafts, and a family-dinner night in addition to our legacy programs,” said Covington Parks & Recreation Manager Ben Oldiges. “We’re really excited about this year.”
A digital version of the 2023 Covington Parks & Recreation Program Guide available online, with hard copies of the guide to follow in the coming weeks. This year, instead of the guides being mailed to every home, Oldiges said they’ll be placed in strategic locations throughout the community, including the public library, churches, schools, and City Hall.
Parks & Rec will then focus on sending out timely reminders before individual events and programs, which Oldiges believes will be a more efficient way to marketing.
The new model emerged after last year’s Jack-O-Lantern Walk when, a week before the event, Parks & Recreation staff delivered more than 2,000 event information cards to Covington schools to be sent home with the kids. It worked, said Oldiges.
“We had more than 600 people at our Jack-O-Lantern Walk – we expected 200 – and our biggest takeaway was how successful it was to send out the cards the week before the event,” he said. “We’re thinking that with events like Movie Nights, it will help promote the event if we get reminders to the houses.”
- Covington Youth Soccer every Saturday in Austinburg Park starting April 15.
- “Future Galileos” will explore the night sky, beginning June 4.
- Instructional Archery for kids ages 9 to 12 at Randolph Park on June 19-22.
- Youth Basketball Clinics focused on basic skills for ages 7 to 9 at Randolph Park on July 24-27.
- NKY Senior Games.
- “Covtivities” (poolside crafts and games) at Goebel Park on Mondays, Randolph Park on Wednesdays, and the Latonia Splash Pad & Waterpark on Fridays.
- Pickleball at Gus Sheehan Park on Tuesday evenings.
- Urban Hike Series, exploring Covington’s urban core, on the first Sunday of every month beginning in May.
- Historical Walks, playing off the urban hike series but focusing on Covington’s historical areas and points of interest.
- Adult Crafts for adults who want to get away to make candles, macrame, and more on every third Sunday from May through September at Gus Sheehan Shelter in Devou Park.
- Cov Family Dinner, to bring families together for cooking and conversation, date and location TBD.
- Men’s Softball League in autumn.
- Kentucky Symphony Orchestra, three events at the Devou Park Bandshell, beginning July 8.
- Easter Egg Hunt at Devou Park Bandshell on April 1.
- Earth Day at Goebel Park on April 22.
- Fishing Derby at Devou Park’s Prisoner’s Lake on May 27.
- Cov Summer Games at Austinburg Park on June 16.
- Community Movie Nights at five different parks, beginning June 9.
- Independence Day Dog Parade at George Steinford Park on July 2.
- Shakespeare in the Park at the Devou Park Bandshell on July 30 & Aug. 1.
- Pups at the Pool at Goebel Park on Aug. 6.
- Pumpkin Carvings at David Housley Pavilion in Randolph Park on Oct. 18 & 19.
- Jack-O-Lantern Fest at David Housley Pavilion at Randolph Park on Oct. 21.
- Happy Cov Holiday at City Hall on Dec. 15.
Last year’s calendar presented other insights for planning the new season.
“One of the things we saw last year was that people seemed to be more interested in passive rather than direct recreation, meaning they preferred to come to a program and participate at their own pace,” Oldiges said. “We also learned that family programming was our biggest success, where the entire family can come and participate in an event or program. We kept those things in mind when planning for this year.”
Oldiges encouraged residents to stay alert to the Parks & Recreation social media feeds because there will likely be some fun additions because, invariably, a “plethora” of new programs emerge throughout the season.
“For instance, we just had a really cool New Age polka band reach out and say they’d love to do a show in Devou Park, and we want to get them in,” he said. “The program guide isn’t locked in, but it serves as a way for people to see what we do have planned, but we’ll always be adding more. It’s going to be a great summer.”
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