Now that the COVID-19 vaccine and mask and physical distancing mandates are no longer in place, staff of the Auburn parks and recreation department have filled spring and summer schedules to bursting with lots of cool things for people to do.
That is, together. With other human beings. At long last.
Cue happy sounds from all quarters.
“We’re really looking a lot more like three years ago when it comes to our events and activities, whether it’s sports leagues, special events, Senior Center, summer camps or classes,” said Daryl Faber, director of Auburn Parks, Arts and Recreation. “We’re seeing our numbers come back to where they were before in terms of online classes.”
First to return after the 2-year pandemic time-out will be Petpalooza, Auburn’s critter spectacular, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, May 21, at Auburn’s Game Farm Park at 3030 R Street SE. The event is free for pet lovers and is a special day for those four-legged family members or other friends.
The day kicks off with a Dog Trot 3K/5K Fun Run, followed by an animal-related entertainment stage, flydog and agility demos, the Northwest Pet Contest, an agility area, a large variety of vendor booths, adoptions, giveaways and lots of activities to keep humans and pets entertained.
“It’ll be pretty much like it was before the pandemic,” said Kristi Pachciarz, events coordinator for the parks department. “We’ll even have pig races.”
So, all leashed, licensed and well-behaved pets c’mon in, wag your tails, clap your hands, or paws, or anything you’ve got.
And, as spring glides into summer, expect old friends like the Auburn International Farmers Market, Kids Day, Fourth of July and summer camps to pop up and do their thing once more.
“Our summer camps are going to be super successful this summer as well,” Faber said. “And we’ve got a great line up. Our summer camps are always super popular. Whether we’re talking history or sports camps, we’ve got a great tradition ,and we’ll be able to run those in the regular fashion this year.”
At these events, the city will maintain most of the cleaning procedures that it put in place during the pandemic.