Summer and Pomps Pond go hand in hand — and the season for both arrives this weekend.
Considered the crown jewel of Andover’s outdoor recreational venues, Pomps Pond is set to welcome back visitors and begin offering a new season of activities for people of all ages.
The fun gets under way Friday night, June 21, with a Summer Solstice paddle. The 16-acre pond, part of a 62-acre recreation area, then officially opens Saturday, June 22, with the town’s Department of Community Services promising a full slate of activities through mid-August.
According to Recreation Director Kim Stamas, the town has heeded the requests of beachgoers in search of more shade. New, permanently installed tables and seats, complete with umbrellas, have been added to the shore.
“People have asked for these types of seats with umbrellas so we are happy to have them ... it’s a great shady place to picnic,” Stamas said.
The rustic-feeling shady hill at the pond that includes some barbecue grills also underwent a makeover. Stamas said town workers did a great job replacing logs and sprucing up the area.
Missing from the pond this year is Brian Parker, who has been a fixture at Pomps the past 17 summers. The popular pond coordinator and Andover High School social studies teacher is on medical leave after suffering a stroke.
“We are really going to miss him,” Stamas said. “He was the person who handled everything down at the pond every summer.”
Two longtime lifeguards who have worked at the pond for several years are filling Parker’s shoes. Caroline O’Malley and Paul D’Ambrosia are this summer’s co-coordinators and will start their jobs Saturday.
“They bring lots of experience as they have worked at Pomps for years,” Stamas said.
They’ll have a lot on their plate, as activities range from stand-up paddleboarding and canoeing/kayaking to freshwater fishing and volleyball.