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Recreation Park opens pool with giant party

By LORI CIDYLO
Staff Writer
Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin

The music played, the sun was warm, and there were plenty of hot dogs and cold drinks at Binghamton's Recreation Park on Sunday.

The afternoon festivities were part of the opening of the newly renovated park off of Beethoven Street.

"It's a much bigger turnout this afternoon than usual,' said Mark Michielini, a vendor selling hot dogs at the park, of the crowd of 200 people.

An in-ground pool was added to the park, and the bathhouse and tennis courts were remodeled, said Steve Rogers, a city Department of Parks and Recreation worker who was filling in hales in the ground around the gazebo.

The band shell, which once inspired The Twilight Zone creator Rod Serling to write an episode of the serves, was also redone.

Griffin Holly and Michelle Farthing, both freshmen at Binghamton High School, were among those enjoying the fun. "It's well taken care of now," Holly said.

 "It was all run down before," Farthing explained.

 "I think it's great. This is the best park they have. We really like the pool," said Adina Castelli, of 56 Seminary Ave., Binghamton, who brought her two children, Nichi, 7, and Anthony, 3.

 "I like the face painting," said Nichi, whose left cheek sported her name in pink letters. "And that's all. Oh, and I like the bubbles and stuff," she said before scampering

back to an area where bubble blowing devices were being created out of yarn and straws.

 Asked what she enjoyed most about the park, 5-year-old Jennifer Harrington's answer was unequivocal: “the swimming pool.”

"We're having a ball," said her mother, Penny Harrington, who was nearby with her other children, Vincent, 11, Kimberly, 4, and Trevor, 9. The family lives on 19 Moeller St.

The daylong celebration also featured tele­scopes from the Observatory in Vestal Center, through which sun spots could be ob­served, ethnic pictures on sale from the Roberson Center, a hot air balloon launch, and story telling.

The Binghamton Philharmonic played after the 7 p.m. dedication.