Area residents hit park over Labor Day weekend

i Sep 4th 2016

By Brigid Edmunds, Wilkes-Barre Times Leader

WILKES-BARRE — With the Labor Day weekend traditionally marking the unofficial end of the summer season, children and adults alike flocked to Kirby Park Sunday afternoon to get in one last bit of fun.

Children played in water and on playground equipment, while adults took the softball fields and jogging and cycling trails.

All seemed thrilled — and some a bit surprised — to be greeted with a warm, sunny day.

“I’ve been waiting for it to start raining,” said Jessica Brenner, 29, of Nanticoke, as she sat under a cloudless sky.

With Hurricane Hermine expected to hit the Northeast Sunday, Brenner was expecting a gloomy day in the park. While some people were anticipating clouds and rain all day, those at the park said they wanted to take advantage of the summer-like weather before the cool fall temperatures rolled in.

“It (ended up) a beautiful day, so we came out to enjoy it,” Kristen Walsh, 33, of Kingston, said.

Cars filled the parking lot, and people spent the afternoon jogging, cycling and just soaking in the sun. Walsh and her son, Ashton Wootton, 1, ran around the playground and climbed on the jungle gym.

“He loves the slides,” Walsh said.

Walsh said she and Ashton were “always outside” over the summer and enjoyed activities such as trips to the Kingston pool and Knoebels Amusement Park and camping.

“We try to get out as much as possible,” she said.

Brenner was at the park with her children, who kept cool by playing at one of the water spigots in the park. Brenner and Crystal Smith, 23, of Hanover Township, come to the park every Sunday to watch their husbands play in a men’s softball league.

“We like to come and cheer our husbands on,” Smith said.

The league started in August and will continue for 13 to 15 weeks throughout the fall with the team playing two games every Sunday.

While the sun was shining and skies were clear, Smith said she was happy with the weather for not being overly hot for the afternoon.

“It’s great that it’s such a breezy day,” she said.

Plans for the rest of the weekend involved more outdoor activities.

“Tomorrow we’re going to the Wyoming County Fair,” Walsh said.

She said she wants to spend as much time outside as possible and that the two will also be headed to a cookout Monday.

For Smith, the goal is to spend time with family.

“We’ll try to see as much family as possible,” she said.