City of Wooster Parks and Recreation Updates, Closures and Cancellations

Submitted by ashley.brillhart on Mon, 05/11/2020 - 6:44pm

Below you will find a list of facility closures and program/event cancellations as well as information regarding rentals at The Chalet and park pavilions, current special event permitting procedures and City of Wooster Aquatic Facilities.

These decisions to cancel, postpone and reschedule are not easy and we know that this impacts many families, both in and outside of Wooster. Our community partners have the full support of the City as they face these difficult decisions. These steps will help reduce the risk and spread of the disease and protect our participants. We know the impacts these closings and cancellations have on your everyday life and appreciate your cooperation and understanding.

All programs, activities, and rentals are cancelled until such time as the State of Ohio allows these facilities to be reopened; this includes all scheduled special events hosted by the City of Wooster and any events requiring a special event permit issued by the City of Wooster (except for any essential operations as outlined in the Stay Safe Order) through May 31. Refunds will be issued to those who have already paid for programs for this year.

This information will continue to be updated online as needed and shared on our social media channels.

The following Parks and Recreation facilities are closed and programming and events cancelled until further notice:

  • Wooster Recreation & Community Center
    • Fitness Room Memberships will be adjusted accordingly for time lost.
    • Programs will be refunded at a prorated amount for services that could not be rendered during the closure of the Recreation & Community Center. Refunds will be issued via check or credited to account. Please allow 10 days for check refunds.
  • Wooster Soccer Complex
  • Knights Field Kiddie City
  • Freedlander Park Miles Specht Memorial Disc Golf Course (open 5/26)
  • City Park Playgrounds (open as of 6/10)
  • City Park Restrooms (open as of 6/10)
  • City Park Sports Courts and Athletic Fields (Tennis & Pickleball Courts open as of 5/26, Sand Volleyball Court open 8/1)
Pavilion & Chalet Rentals

All scheduled pavilion rentals have been cancelled through August 16. No new reservations are being taken at this time. Existing rentals for August 16, 2020 and later will be reviewed on a weekly basis and honored or cancelled based on the State of Ohio orders at that time.

Parks maintenance operations will continue and City parks are open for walking, jogging, running and hiking as long as users abide by social distancing guidelines.

Chalet reservations are now being held under limited capacity and social distancing guidelines.

Special Event Permits

Events meeting the criteria in which a Special Event Permit is required include parades, 5K’s, concerts, etc. 

The City of Wooster is implementing the following actions in regards to Special Event Permits to ensure consistency with the State of Ohio’s Stay Safe order (

Existing Permits- 

All approved events held through August 16, 2020 that required a Special Event Permit, have been cancelled. 

If you have an approved Special Event Permit for an event held through August 16, 2020, a refund will be issued for any payments made or a rescheduled date can be identified after August 16, 2020, or the lifting of the Order.

If you have an approved Special Event Permit for an event scheduled after August 16, 2020, your existing permit will need to be revised and a new detailed map and description of how you plan to follow the Ohio Department of Health and Governors Orders at the time the event takes place must be added in the attachments section. 

Future Permits & Events- The City of Wooster will accept permit applications for events scheduled after August 16, 2020, but will not process or approve a special event, block party or stage permit until such a time that the Stay Safe Order has been rescinded and/or updated to allow for events of that nature to take place. 

Since there have been multiple event cancellations in light of COVID-19, the City of Wooster is advising that residents and visitors reach out to the event organizers prior to the scheduled event date if you are planning to attend an event in the City of Wooster.s to plan accordingly. 

Community Event Cancellations
  • May 25 - Memorial Day Parade 
    • This was a non-government event, for which the City provided support in coordination with the Memorial Day Committee and the Veterans Service Commission.
  • July 4 - Wooster Fireworks Celebration
    • This was a non-government event, for which the City provided support in coordination with the Exchange Club, Wooster Rotary and the Wooster Fireworks Committee.
Aquatic Facilities


To our Freedlander Pool patrons: Per the governor’s instruction of a Statewide mask mandate, you will be required to wear a mask when: 

  • entering our facility
  • making payment at the cashier’s desk
  • while walking through the locker rooms until you reach the pool deck outside
  • outdoors on the pool deck only if you are unable to maintain 6ft distance between a member not of your household. 

Exceptions include children under the age of 10 and those who meet the criteria for not having to wear a mask listed in the Governor's orders. We ask that you assist us in following the rules so that our facility can continue to be enjoyed for the remainder of this season.

Knights Field Sprayground is open as of July 1, 2020 with limited capacity in order to adhere to social distancing guidelines.

Freedlander Pool is open as of Monday, June 15! Please see the link below to access information on polices and procedures (such as pre-registration and waiver requirements) that have been put into place due to COVID-19.

Information will be updated on the 2020 Pool Season page and announced on City social media channels as necessary. Please be aware that City of Wooster aquatic facility policies are subject to change and adjustments may be made throughout the Summer in accordance with local, State of Ohio and Federal guidelines and in order to best serve our community. 


Freedlander Pool, Christmas Run Pool and Knights Field Sprayground are currently closed due to the State of Ohio Stay Safe Orders. The City Administration and Recreation staff have had many discussions internally regarding aquatic facility operations for this Summer, and have been evaluating many options. We have also been following the plans of many of our peers in other cities in Ohio and across the nation, and discussing operations with other Recreation Departments in NE Ohio. We recognize the popularity and benefits of these facilities to our citizens, and understand the desire for re-opening facilities for a sense of "normalcy".  At the same time, we are responsible to our citizens to consider and protect their health and safety and comply with the state's orders. 

We are following the Governor's orders and waiting for updates before making any final plans. Public pools and aquatic facilities are still on the State’s list of "Closed" facilities  at this time. This closure list also includes all public recreation facilities, gyms, ice rinks, playgrounds, day camps and similar operations.

The challenges expressed by the State and other cities include the ability to maintain 6 feet of isolation distance and limiting group sizes to 10 or less. In addition, the ability to hire a sufficient number of certified lifeguards in a timely fashion without training/certification programs and the ability to practice CPR could also be a challenge. The Governor's recommendations for all businesses and gathering activities includes wearing masks where possible for employees and patrons, which is obviously a problem with aquatic facility operations. 

We have planned ahead and put all plans and protocols in place to open some or all of our aquatic facilities within 3 weeks of the state announcing a lifting of the closure orders. The longer the state keeps these facilities closed impacts if and when these facilities may be opened, even partially, for the 2020 season.

As with all City services, these types of decisions are not taken lightly. Our first priority is the safety and health of our community. Because the crisis, guidance and orders change almost daily, we have been waiting as long as possible to make final decisions. We are still hoping for additional guidance at some point, but realize that decisions need to be made in order for organizations that use our facilities to plan accordingly.