City Pool a showcase for city of Vicksburg

Published 10:09 am Thursday, June 2, 2016

While the never-ending saga of Vicksburg’s new recreational complex drags on through its second decade, it’s a good idea to remember some of the community assets we do have in hand. One of them is celebrating an anniversary this year.

City Pool opened for its 20th season on Monday. In the last two decades, hundreds of Vicksburg residents have learned to swim there, competed there, or just used it to work out.

Manager Sylvia Gurtowski has been its overseer for as long as I can remember, and has done a wonderful job maintaining it as a first-class facility.

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The gentle splashing of the waterfalls in the kiddie pool provide a year-round soundtrack to that part of town, and the sparkling clear waters of the main pool are always inviting.

To celebrate its 20-year anniversary, City Pool will hold several gift card giveaways from area businesses this summer. The Vicksburg City Pool Facebook page will announce some times, and others will be random surprises.

The pool will also host the Stamm Family Invitational Swim Meet this weekend. It’s an annual showcase for both the city and one of City Pool’s primary tenants, the Vicksburg Swim Association. Nearly 400 swimmers will compete in the meet that lasts three days.

It’s a great event, with a great atmosphere and excellent people, but also one I’ve deemed the worst to cover every year.

The temperature is invariably about 92 degrees and sunny. Standing on a hot concrete pool deck in that heat, inches from watery relief and not being able to jump in, is pure torture.

But I digress.

Come the following Monday, it’s back to business as usual for City Pool. Children and adults alike will spend the summer flocking to its cooling water just to splash around.

Swim lessons will be given, workout laps turned, competitive practices held.

The pool opens for VSA practice at 6 a.m., and from then until the sun sets each day there will almost always be someone in the water. Admission is only $2 a day for children and $4 for adults, or $60 for an individual summer pass. It’s a bargain.

So take full advantage this summer of one of our city’s great resources.

It’s an oasis in a concrete desert, and a place where young and old alike can gather to learn, embrace, and improve upon a valuable skill that will last them a lifetime.

Ernest Bowker is a sports writer at The Vicksburg Post. He can be reached at 601-619-7120, or via email at

About Ernest Bowker

Ernest Bowker is The Vicksburg Post's sports editor. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post's sports staff since 1998, making him one of the longest-tenured reporters in the paper's 140-year history. The New Jersey native is a graduate of LSU. In his career, he has won more than 50 awards from the Mississippi Press Association and Associated Press for his coverage of local sports in Vicksburg.

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