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Okatibbee Lake offers summer fun

By Staff
SPRING CLEANING Joseph Lovett scrubs a water slide at Okatibbee Water Park to prepare for its opening Memorial Day weekend. The Pine Springs Park and Collinsville beaches on the Okatibbee Lake open today for their summer season. Photo by Paula Merritt / The Meridian Star
By Chris Allen Baker / staff writer
May 4, 2002
Children can start splashing and sunbathers can start tanning when the Pine Springs Park and Collinsville beaches at Okatibbee Lake open today for the summer season.
The Okatibbee Water Park, near Pine Springs Park, is set to open Memorial Day weekend. Workers already are preparing the water slides and cabins for the opening.
All of the activities are centered on or near Okatibbee Lake a 3,800-acre reservoir that is a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers flood-control and recreational project nine miles north of Meridian.
The reservoir offers picnic sites and hiking trails.
And, during the summer, it offers a wide-variety of water activities including swimming at Pine Springs Park beach, Collinsville beach and Okatibbee Water Park.
Groverdare said he will hire about eight to 10 American Red Cross-certified lifeguards at the water park, each earning between $6.50 and $7 an hour depending on their experience.
Staff members are currently busy cleaning the park's two water slides, which flow into a large pool. The park also features a wading pool for small children that is about a foot deep.
The water park will be open every day except Tuesdays. Admission during the week is $6 from noon to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday and noon to 6 p.m. on Fridays.
Admission on the weekends is different: $8.50 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday; $6 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. or from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.; and $7.50 from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Admission to the children's pool is $3. Those who don't want to swim or ride the slides can still go to the park but they must pay $1 to observe or $2 to sunbathe.
Swimming and sliding aren't the only activities at the lake. Cove's Nest Marina on Okatibbee Dam Road rents pontoon boats and provides docking slips for boat owners.
Joe Killebrew, the marina manager, said he is looking forward to the summer. The marina has a snack bar, he said, as well as water guns and other toys for children.