Sept. 3, 2019. The Day after Labor Day. A group of University Heights residents gathered with their dogs for our inaugural Doggy Pool Party at our city pool at Purvis Park. It was our last official event of the summer, so it was bittersweet.

Bittersweet, but no big deal – right? Because summer would return in 2020, as it always does. And when it returned, it would bring all the fun events we love with it. New memories would be made.

Well, we all know what happened in early 2020. The pandemic came. Life was put on hold. And most summer activities in University Heights, and around the world, were canceled.

I hope you were able to take your summer pleasures in 2020 where you could find them. Let’s look forward to a better summer in 2021. Because barring any last-minute pandemic-related setback, in 2021 – summer is back.

Proms, graduations and wedding receptions are on track to return. Our city’s summer activities will be back as well.

Mark your calendars now. The Fourth of July weekend starts at John Carroll University on July 1 with the University Heights Symphonic Band, followed by an outdoor showing of “Raiders of the Lost Ark.” What could be more patriotic and cathartic, than to gather together to hear our city symphonic band and watch one of the best movies ever?

After July 1, our series will move once again to Walter Stinson Community Park. Of course, if appropriate and necessary, we will take precautions to encourage and maintain social distance at our free concerts.

As someone who grew up around music, listening to music, playing music, being in bands, going to concerts, it means so much to me to bring live music back to our community. It not only means that summer is back, but it signals the return of culture, and the return of the communal experience that concerts bring.

The Walt will be hopping this summer. On Mondays, we’ll have tai chi classes, led by city council’s very own Saundra Berry. Yoga Tuesdays will also return, as will Wednesday night Burn Boot Camp.

Our parade will return this summer as well. To give us more time to recover from the pandemic, for one year only, we are going to hold our summer parade on the Fourth of July.

Parents, please let your kids know that we welcome back their lemonade stands this summer. And like we did in 2019, we’ll help get the word out about your stand. We will get your little entrepreneur some customers. I’ll do my best to show up. And pending his availability, we’ll send Cooper.

And one last thing. Summer is not complete without a trip to the pool. We will complete our summer is back celebration by reopening the Purvis Park pool. We must remember the pandemic is not quite over. As such, there will be changes in pool operations. We will follow all state and local board of health guidance in the pool’s operation. Details are outlined in University Heights Mosaic magazine and at universityheights.com.

My wife, Gina, and I look forward to seeing you this summer in the Heights. I mean, really seeing you. Hopefully, seeing you within 6 feet. Seeing your noses, your chins and your smiles once again. And we look forward to meeting your dog at the pool the day after Labor Day.


Mayor Michael Dylan Brennan is mayor of University Heights.

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