PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — After years of pandemic-fueled challenges, life is returning to Salem parks this summer. 

Officials with the city said the bounce back from COVID-19 restricted times has been a timid process, but they acknowledged that everyone knows what works best for their families when it comes to heading back out.

Trevor Smith, a spokesperson for Salem Parks and Recreation, said there have been few challenges getting people to return to the parks, but staffing their various spaces has been a bit of a struggle. 

Some of the available jobs include recreation and program leads. Along with that, he said people assist the various sporting teams from coordinating the schedules to helping teach sports, including tennis, softball and basketball.

Despite a lack of staff, Smith said around 100 events have already been booked at various parks across the city this year. Smith said that number could be in the 300 and 400s as summer nears. 

“We’re in the planning stages of having several big events, maybe some concerts,” he said.

As temperatures rise some people are warming up to the idea of attending and hosting more large-scale events.

The most popular space to rent he said is the Riverfront Park location followed by Minto Brown Island Park.

Events that are booked at Salem parks so far in 2022:

  • Willamette Valley Marathon, Half Marathon, 10K and Wine Festival, Riverfront and Minto-Brown Island Park, May 29
  • World Beat Festival, Riverfront Park, June 24-26
  • Ironman Triathlon, July 10
  • Art Fair and Festival, Bush’s Pasture Park, July 15-17
  • Family Building Blocks Family Fest, Riverfront Park, August 6
  • Fish and El Rey Radio Station Concerts – Fish Fest on Saturday, August 20, and Reventon on Sunday, August 21, these concerts are moving from the South Meadow at Riverfront Park to the new Gerry Frank I Salem Rotary Amphitheater
  • Movies in the Park, 1 per month throughout the summer
  • Stride Run and Walks, 1 per month throughout the summer
  • 2022 USA Softball 10B Fast Pitch Western Nationals, July 25th – July 31st

For more information on job openings visit cityofsalem.net/jobs.