Fresno parks open for Easter with minimal restrictions

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Easter weekend will look drastically different from last year at Fresno parks and families are welcome to pay the parks a visit.

One COVID restriction is still in place, but some new additions are coming to keep parks clean and safe.

The line of people inside Roeding Park headed for the Chaffee Zoo on Friday was a sign of the times for the city of Fresno.

"This year, unlike last year, we're going to open up all of our parks," said Mayor Jerry Dyer.

A year after the city spent its first COVID holiday enforcing closures at parks, they're going all out to welcome visitors with what they're calling "Operation Easter Bunny."

Gate attendants will hand plastic garbage bags to everyone coming into Roeding or Woodward.

Restroom attendants will keep the facilities clean. They're preparing for big crowds.

"The number of people that attend the park will only be limited by our parking capacity," Dyer said. "So we're going to be monitoring that frequently and we'll have message boards out there to let people know when parking capacity has reached its limit."

Police and security teams will also be on hand to keep the peace.

In all, the city plans to have 70 employees working at the two regional parks and seven neighborhood parks.

Dyer says that's probably five times the normal weekend staffing, but the city wants to make sure the parks are an attractive destination.

"This is a big weekend for us," he said. "We want people to feel safe, for the parks to be clean, and people to enjoy themselves."

The one big adjustment this year because of COVID will be the picnic shelters. The city has blocked entrances, citing a state mandate against large gatherings.

Everything else is wide open, although COVID will force one more, partial change.

The city wants you to wear your mask as you enter the park and see the gate attendant, but then you can take it off unless you're passing someone from outside of your group. Then, they want you to put it back on.
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