Barbecue

Submitted / The Outlook

Opening day festivities will include food and softball. 

Camp Hill's newly refurbished Bear Park, a nod to the former Edward Bell High School mascot, will kick off a new era next month.

The town will hold an opening day event on May 2, Camp Hill mayor Messiah Williams-Cole announced in a council meeting Monday.

"We'll have a softball game and we'll open a concession stand up," Williams-Cole said. "It'll be something safe and fun to bring a lot of people out in a united community once again."

For the past few months, Camp Hill's parks and recreation department has been working to revamp the park on Newell Street and Church Avenue. The refurbishment, one of Williams-Cole's campaign promises, ran into delay this spring due to inclement weather, the mayor told constituents in one of his "Camp Hill Conversations" livestreams.

Changes include updates to the basketball court and playground and removal of the dilapidated dugouts in the softball field.

Williams-Cole also shared his long-term ambitions for the park last month.

"My ultimate goal — and when I say ultimate I know this probably won't happen at least another one to two years — is to have a doublewide trailer or small building put (in) so we can have a fitness center for the town," he said.

The fitness center would include treadmills and weight machines for public use.

"I hope to have it as a bonus for utility customers," Williams-Cole said. "So if you pay utilities in Camp Hill, you're able to show your ID and maybe sign up your kids and whoever to go there."

In the meantime, Camp Hill residents will be able to make use of a refurbished softball field, basketball court and playground in time for summer.