May 29, 2024

Enthusiastic Swimmers Visit Community Pool Over Opening Weekend

By Anne Levin

The official first day of summer isn’t until June 22. But in Princeton, the season unofficially begins each year on Memorial Day weekend with the opening of Community Park Pool.

Despite some wet weather on Monday, opening weekend saw healthy crowds. “Saturday and Sunday were terrific,” said Evan Moorhead, the town’s director of recreation. “We had over 1,000 people each day. Memorial Day got off to a nice start, though the rain put a damper on things a little later.”

Designed in the 1960s, the pool received a major $6 million overhaul just over a decade ago. Keeping it in top shape “is literally almost a year-round operation,” said Moorhead. “Between the upkeep and the maintenance, there is very little time when we’re not doing something.”

It costs $387 for a family residing in Princeton to join the pool, and there are additional options for individuals. Non-residents can also purchase memberships for $678. “We have a healthy number of them,” said Moorhead, who added that rates compare favorably with those of private swim clubs and other public pools.

We are always on the low end, if not the lowest, particularly for Princeton residents,” he said. “And with the wading pool and the diving well, we really have three pools in one.”

Activities at the pool cover a broad range. The Blue Fish Swim and Dive Team usually attracts a few hundred participants aged 5-18. Competing in the Princeton Area Swim and Dive Association, the team is the largest in the organization and has won titles each year.

A deep-water exercise class for adults and senior citizens, swim and dive lessons, and a parent/toddler swim program are among other offerings. Lessons for the public are always popular. They come with a fee, but are not limited to those who cannot pay.

“One of the missions of our recreation commission is to make sure that any family that wants swim lessons for their child can have them regardless of financial means,” said Moorhead. “We provide a lot of financial aid. Swimming is such an important life skill. We want kids to learn when they’re young.”

The summer recreation program is not limited to the pool. Youth Day Camp, for children who will start first-to-sixth grade in the fall, brings about 100 kids a week. “It was on hiatus during COVID, and we brought it back last year,” Moorhead said. “It’s very popular.”

The Teen Travel program, which also returned last summer following the pandemic, runs for four weeks in July and is attended by rising seventh-to-tenth graders.

“Between counselors and kids, we fill every seat on the bus for all four of those weeks,” said Moorhead. The participants go to places like Dorney Park, Great Adventure, bowling alleys, and movie theaters.

The department also keeps young people busy with basketball camps, track, skateboarding, and non-athletic pursuits. “We’ve been partnering with third parties on things like chess and ‘mad science,’ so we’re expanding beyond the traditional youth sport and summer programs,” said Moorhead.

Community Park Pool is open weekends until Monday, June 17, after which it remains open daily until Labor Day. Visit for more information on the pool and additional recreational activities this summer.