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MATTOON -- The scheduled opening of Lytle Park's swimming pool on Sunday will kick off a summer season that also will once again include a farmers market and an outdoor movie every Friday at this park, starting May 31.

Swimming pool

Lytle Manager Justin Grady said the pool will retain its regular hours of 11:30 a.m.-7:45 p.m. daily, weather permitting, and its daily admission rates of $3 for children ages 2-11 and $4 for ages 12 and older this summer. Punch cards and season passes are also available.

One of the few changes at the Mattoon Township Park District's pool this year will be the absence of a snack food vending machine, Grady said. He explained that this machine was removed because its display window had been broken five times during the last two years.

Grady said sandwiches and ice cream will be available this summer from the ice cream cone-shaped restaurant across the street from Lytle that the Mattoon Burger King plans to reopen soon as Frigid Queen. He said the previous Rhoadside Custard stand there had been a popular "neighborhood restaurant" with swimmers and those who live near Lytle.

"It's a neat little thing to have nearby," Grady said.

Swimmers and other visitor to Lytle will enter and exit the park this summer by newly constructed, brick light pillars. Grady said the old pillars needed to be tuck pointed, but many of the bricks in them had broken over the years. He added that the broken bricks were larger than modern standard bricks

"We decided to take them down and start from scratch," Grady said of the pillars, adding that they obtained new bricks that closely matches the look of the old ones.

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Farmers market

Mattoon's seasonal farmers market will begin its third year at Lytle Park on May 31. The market was previously held for many years at Peterson Park.

The market will open at 8 a.m. every Friday in the old Bennett School property's parking lot next to the park's 32nd Street entrance. The market is open to vendors who grow their own produce or make their own crafts, and there is no charge for booth space.

Grady said vendors can remain open into the afternoon, but many typically sell out of produced by late morning. He said there will be a limited amount of carrots, lettuce and other produce available early in the summer, but the variety will increase later in the growing season. The market usually concludes its year sometime in early October.

Outdoor movies

The Mattoon Public Library and Lytle Park will begin their 2019 "Movies in the Park" series with a showing of "The Incredibles 2" on May 31. The movies will be shown at dusk every Friday, except on July 19 during Bagelfest, through the Aug. 9 series conclusion with "Aquaman." There is no charge for admission.

"It's a great famil- friendly event," said library Community Engagement Director Beth Suerdieck Pugh during a presentation Tuesday night to the Mattoon City Council. "The movie lineup is great. We are really excited about it this year."

The movies will be projected onto a newly constructed masonry block wall that also serves as the back wall for the park's south tennis court. The new wall is 19 feet high and 36 feet, 6 inches wide, which will provide approximately 50 percent more screen size for the moves than the previous wall.

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Contact Rob Stroud at (217) 238-6861. Follow him on Twitter: @TheRobStroud

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Reporter

Rob Stroud is a reporter for the JG-TC, covering the city of Mattoon, Lake Land College, Cumberland County and areas including Oakland, Casey and Martinsville.

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