Summer is fast approaching as spring comes to a close. For some the thoughts of high heat temperatures and mosquitos instills a sense of dread, but for the young and young at heart, summer is full of endless opportunities for outside sports, cold beverages and leisure activities. For a small rural town, Newport has a lot going on for kids and adults alike.
School is out and students are done with the daily grind of academics for close to ten more weeks. The ways Newport children spend their time varies. The Jackson County Youth Association baseball and softball program has over 100 players. These teams flock to George Kell Park most nights for either practice or games. Johnny Long, Parks and Recreations Director, does a great job of hiring students to help run the park in positions such as assistant umpires, concession workers and various others. It is a joy to see the amount of participation from junior t-ball to 16 year old baseball, as well as a work ethic for those youth employed there.
Across from the ball diamonds of George Kell Park is the Newport City Pool. This year IMAD is running the pool under leadership of Phillip Brown. The employees are busy preparing the pool for the hottest days to come. Admission is inexpensive and the lifeguards are qualified. The City Pool is also available for parties and swim lessons.
For the hot summer days, refreshments are essential. Pack’s in Jacksonport makes unbelievable flavored shaved ice, as well as melt-in-your-mouth burgers. Don’t miss out on the adjoining bait shop. What is summer without fishing? Pack’s also has a mobile trailer located next to Howard’s Fish trailer on Highway 67. New this season is Long’s Tropical Snow located between Pizza Hut and Sonic. This provides Newport two options for shaved ice. Pick your preference! In close proximity to both shaved ice businesses is the local Sonic. It is a popular place in the summer. This is the second year for the new location. Young children enjoy the playground and the sand volleyball court. Sonic is the primary ice cream stop in Newport. The shakes, blasts and sundaes are available in to many varieties to count.
Golf! This is the season for golfers. A true golfer will brave the heat for the love of the game. Newport has two golf courses, Village Creek Golf Course and Newport Country Club. Village Creek Golf Club is located outside of town down Stegall Road. Village Creek has a well-manicured course and a pool for the members. The Newport Country Club is very busy this summer. The Club hosts several tournaments and brings out-of-town guests to Newport. The Club pool is active each day with certified life guards. The Club restaurant can be enjoyed in the dining room, bar, or poolside.
For students who want a break from the outdoor heat, the Jackson County Library hosts a Children’s Summer Reading Program every Wednesday at 10 a.m. (except July 4) and Teen Summer Program each Thursday at 2 pm from June 7 to July 26 (recommended for ages 9-18). Visit jacksoncolibrary.net for a complete schedule or pick up a brochure at the library. Reading logs are a requirement to qualify to win either a bicycle (Children’s Reading Program) or a Kindle Fire 7 with a leather case (Teen Program)! According to the library Facebook page, if the entire group reads a collective 1,000 minutes, the library will purchase a Nintendo Switch and Labo (sponsored by C & C Distributors) to use at later programs. Visit jacksoncolibrary.net for the complete schedule.