SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) – For Sioux City Parks & Rec, weeks of hard work to reopen Cone Park have come down to the finishing touches.
“Everything from getting our snow guns all calibrated–getting our speakers finalized,” Sioux City Parks & Rec Supervisor John Byrnes said.
Starting Monday, workers began making what makes Cone Park so iconic: snow.
“We need it to be about 26 degrees, and then we’ll need about two weeks, give or take. Usually, what we’ll do is we’ll just push it into a bunch of big piles, and push it all out once that’s all done,” Sioux City Parks & Rec Coordinator Paige O’Farrell said.
Despite all the hard work, an official opening date has yet to be determined.
“What we’re hoping for is right before the kids go to Christmas break to open up, and welcome people in. But it just depends on what the weather gives us,” Brynes said.
The park also plans to follow all COVID-19 mandates. Masks will be required, cleaning will be ramped up, and social distancing measures will go into effect in the lodge.
“We’ll put up different tables in here so everyone’s spaced out six feet part, and we’ll have one party per table. We’re also going to set up additional seating outside as well,” O’Farrell said.
The park will also maintain a capacity limit as in years past, albeit a little lower this year due to COVID-19 concerns.
“We always have a capacity limit no matter what, so this year’s no different. It’s just a little bit lower, once again, to make sure we have the space that we need,” Brynes said.
Sioux City Parks & Rec staff say they hope a bit of winter fun can help make up for, at least, some of the summer fun many Siouxlanders lost out on due the pandemic.
“This is something you can do safely. They’re outdoors–it’s so easy to distance because we have so much room, so we’re so excited to welcome the public [and] give them something to do,” Brynes said.