Ready for warm-weather activities

The school year will be ending in the next few weeks, swimming pools will be opening and more people are going to be heading outdoors.

The air is consistently warmer, the sun is shining most days and people are doing yard work.

They’re also looking for things to do as the summer months approach.

I’ve never liked that idea that we have to look for things to do, because there is almost always something going on.

The Ohio Valley has a variety of these warm-weather events to check out. For that matter, our region has a variety of events for all season if you’re willing to step outside of your house and not rely on driving 30 miles to find your entertainment.

We recently published our annual Fairs and Festivals Guide, with a look at some of the many community activities set for our area in the next few months.

Many of the “big” events are returning, including the Follansbee Community Days, the various Independence Day festivities, the Weirton Greek Festival, the Brooke and Hancock county fairs, Riverfest and more.

There also is the annual community summer concert series. Weirton’s is set to begin this Friday, and we’ll have a listing of scheduled acts in Monday’s edition so residents have an idea of what to expect at the Weirton Event Center this year.

If you don’t necessarily want to be in a crowd, there are hiking trails and more at Tomlinson Run State Park, attractions at Brooke Hills Park and Oglebay Park, the Panhandle Recreation Trail and other outdoor areas to check out.

Starvaggi Memorial Park has its pool, playground, picnic shelters and its basketball and tennis courts which soon should be finished with their renovations.

Marland Heights Park has its own tennis court, shelters and playground.

There will be church and school gatherings throughout the summer, attracting hundreds of people on just about every weekend.

Sometimes, you have to stop looking for the new, flashy, exciting thing and take it back to simpler activities.

Ride bikes with your friends, go fishing, go for a walk.

People are hitting the golf courses (and mini-golf courses)

There are youth baseball leagues in action right now and Legion ball will be starting up.

For that matter, just go outside, sit on your porch or in your back yard and read a good book.

You don’t have to travel to Pittsburgh to find something fun, whether it’s during the summer, or other seasons.

I know we all probably got a little stir crazy in our colder months, especially those weeks when it seemed as if we were getting snow a couple of times a week.

Schools were getting delayed or canceled, and we weren’t always sure what to do.

I would think we would be looking forward to this time of year after all of that.

I know I’ve definitely seen more signs of life while driving through town. People are walking along Main Street. I’ve seen kids riding bicycles through a few neighborhoods.

Saturday, Weirton Elementary held its second-annual color run, and this Saturday (May 26) the Weirton Park Board will hold its inaugural Chromatic Challenge 3K at Starvaggi Park.

Yes, we are still getting a few rainy days, and that will probably last for a bit longer, but the sun shines most of the time, the leaves are bright green and hanging on the trees, the birds are singing and life has returned.

Take the time you have and find something to do outside, enjoy the warm air and the breeze.

Hang out with your friends and family, maybe have a summer bonfire (do it safely, of course)

Go have a picnic at the park.

The point is to just get outside and have some fun during these summer months.

After all, time moves quickly and it won’t be that long before we’re all stuck indoors, again, watching the snow fall.

(Howell, a resident of Colliers, is managing editor of The Weirton Daily Times, and can be contacted at chowell@weirtondailytimes.com or followed on Twitter @CHowellWDT)

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