By Kelly Morgan

Despite the current pandemic, three staples of summer in Sylva – Concerts on the Creek, swimming the Sylva Pool and the Independence Day fireworks – are still a go.

Every year from Memorial Day to Labor Day weekend, the Town of Sylva, the Jackson County Parks and Recreation Department and the Jackson County Chamber of Commerce produce the Concerts on the Creek series at the Bridge Park gazebo. The concerts typically run from 7-9 p.m. every Friday night. Attendance is free, but donations are encouraged. 

Though this summer’s concerts have been postponed, they have not been canceled. However, new protocols are in place. Concert-goers are expected to follow the recommended COVID-19 safety precautions. These include keeping 6 feet of social distancing between one another, wearing a mask and frequently hand-sanitizing. People may bring chairs or blankets for seating.

If Gov. Roy Cooper releases regulations for gathering sizes under Phase III of COVID-19 recovery (potentially on or before June 24-26), organizers will set the final dates. The tentative schedule is as follows: 

• Friday, June 26 – Geoff McBride and Scott Baker (classic hits).

• Friday, July 3 – The Rewind House Band (classic rock hits).

• Saturday, July 4 – Fireworks & Festivities, All In One Party Band (soul/R&B/beach/classic hits) 

• Friday, July 10 – Keil Nathan Smith Band (classic rock/country).

• Saturday, July 11 – Bohemian Jean (classic rock hits).

• Friday, July 17 – Summer Brooke and Mountain Faith (bluegrass/gospel).

• Friday, July 24 – Darren & the Buttered Toast (Soul/Rock/Funk).

• Saturday, July 25 – Mile High Band (classic rock/country).

• Friday, July 31 – Tuxedo Junction (classic hits).

• Friday, Aug. 7 – Dashboard Blue (classic hits).

• Saturday, Aug. 8- Eleanor Underhill & Friends (Americana).

• Friday, Aug. 14 – Jonah Riddle & Carolina Express (bluegrass/gospel).

• Friday, Aug. 21 – The Get Right Band (funk/rock).

• Saturday, Aug. 22 – Shane Meade & The Sound (soul/rock/funk).

• Friday, Aug. 28 – Arnold Hill Band (rock/country/Americana).

• Friday, Sept. 4: – Daddy Rabbit (blues/rock).

• Saturday, Sept. 5 – SKA City (Ska).

On Saturday, July 4, the All in One Party Band is slated to play before the Chamber of Commerce’s annual Independence Day fireworks display. The concert is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. and the fireworks for around 9:45 p.m., or once it gets dark. The Chamber of Commerce will release a final decision on whether the concert will happen once they know the Phase III regulations.

“Worst case, we’ll all be able to see the fireworks in downtown Sylva from various safe social distances in the surrounding downtown area,” Jackson County Chamber of Commerce Director Julie Donaldson said. “We’ll keep you posted and hope that we can all be together to celebrate Independence Day safely in Sylva.”

For more information on Concerts on the Creek or the fireworks display, visit www.mountainlovers.com.

Across the creek from Bridge Park, the Sylva Pool is up and running.

The Jackson County Parks and Recreation Department established a plan to maintain limited capacity occupancy requirements.

Only 60 total occupants are allowed in the Sylva Pool at one time, and to maximize participation, the pool day is split into two sessions to allow for more usage. There is a 9:30 a.m.-2 p.m. session and a 3-7:30 p.m. session. This schedule operates seven days a week. Participants are only allowed to come to one session per day, and both sessions are first-come, first-served.

Entrance is $3 per person, and no season passes are being sold.

To provide maximum user opportunities at the pool, during Phase II, there will be no pool parties, lap swim, parent/child swim or family nights. There will also be no swimming lessons as it would be impossible to maintain social distancing guidelines. The concession stand is closed.

While participants are waiting either to check in or for the next session to begin, there will be markers in place to encourage social distancing. Furthermore, all pool deck furniture has been removed. Users are encouraged to bring their own chairs or towels. No pool toys or floats are allowed, but lifejackets are still acceptable.

For more information, contact the Sylva Pool at 586-3565 or the Recreation Department at 631-2022.