Party, celebration set for Mickle Pool

There will be a performance by Dani Mackinzie, a 12-year-old singer from Atlanta, whose parents moved from Newberry in 2010 to Atlanta. (Special to the Guardian)

Published: Wednesday, June 12, 2013 at 2:02 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, June 12, 2013 at 2:02 p.m.

The Andrew R. Mickle Sr. Celebration — being held to recognize Mickle for "water-proofing" Alachua County since 1957 — will feature the first ever flash mob dance in east Gainesville and a chance for swimmers to enjoy the first and only Kersplash Pool Climbing Wall in Gainesville.



>b>What: Operation Respect Yourself pool party and celebration for instructor Andrew Mickle.

When: 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday.

Where: Andrew R. Mickle Sr. Pool at T.B. McPherson Recreation Center, 1717 SE 15th St.

Cost: Free.

Information: Call 352-334-5067.

The celebration will be held from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the Andrew R. Mickle Sr. Pool at T.B. McPherson Recreation Center at 1717 NE 15th St. Doris Edwards, chair of the Lincoln Estates Neighborhood Watch, said the event is being held to honor Mickle, 92, for all of his years of service to the community.

"The people of Lincoln Estates realize we are living with a living legend right in our community. How blessed can we be?" Edwards asked rhetorically. "He has been a legend for a long time and continues to be a legend with his service to the community today just like he served the community in 1957."

Mickle, the first aquatics manager for the city of Gainesville, also taught summer swimming lessons to children and adults in the pool at his home in Lincoln Estates for decades.

This summer, through July 18, will be the third year he will be teaching swimming at Mickle Pool to ages four and older. The cost is $50 for 12 lessons for children and $55 for adults for 12 lessons.

Mickle said words can't describe how he feels about being honored on Saturday.

"It is really gratifying for them to do this honor for me," said Mickle, while sitting in a recliner in his livingroom Monday morning. "I humbly accept this honor and it has been a pleasure for me to teach swimming for so long. You never hear about drownings in Alachua County, for the most part, and that makes me feel real good."

The celebration will coincide with the first Operation Respect Yourself pool party of the summer sponsored by the city of Gainesville Department of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs and the Gainesville Police Department.

The first Operation Respect Yourself pool party was scheduled for last Thursday at Northeast Pool, but was cancelled due to Tropical Storm Andrea.

Co-sponsored by the Lincoln Estates Neighborhood Watch, the celebration also will feature the reading of a city proclamation by Gainesville Mayor Ed Braddy, the welcome by District 1 city Commissioner Yvonne Hinson-Rawls and a U.S. congressional reading by either U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown, D-Fla., or a representative from her office. The congressional reading will be entered into the Congressional Archives in Washington, D.C.

There will be a performance by Dani Mackinzie, a 12-year-old singer from Atlanta. Dani and her parents, Sherry Newton Lumpkins and Adrian Lumpkins, moved from Newberry in 2010 to Atlanta.

Edwards said the flash mob dance, which is a group of people dancing in public briefly before quickly dispersing, will begin at approximately 12:15 p.m. She said those interested in participating should go to her Facebook page at Doris Edwards and click on "Event: Heatwave/Andrew Mickle Celebration" to see a YouTube video that demonstrates how to do the dances that will correspond to the 12 songs that will be played.

The songs will be "It Don't' Mean a Thing," "In the Mood," "Willie and the Hand Jive," "The Twist," "I Feel Good," "The Hustle," "YMCA," "Thriller," "Can't Touch This," "Apache," "Lean With It, Rock With It" and "Happy Birthday."

New pool feature

Jeff Moffitt, city aquatics supervisor, said the Kersplash Pool Climbing Wall is a new aquatics amenity that is gaining in popularity. He estimated that only six other cities in Florida have the walls in public pools.

He said the wall was installed about three weeks ago and Mickle Pool was chosen to encourage more residents to use the pool.

"We really thought it would be a nice amenity to add to that pool to draw more people there," said Moffit, adding that the wall was paid for with capital funds set aside specifically for Mickle Pool.

The $25,000 stainless steel wall is 16 feet by 16 feet with vertical and horizontal bars. The first four feet of the wall are in the water. Moffitt said anyone can climb the wall after passing a brief swim test.

Moffit said the cost to enter the pool is $1.35 for children 17 and under and $2.45 for adults. The pool is open from noon-5 p.m. Monday and Tuesday, noon-6 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, noon-5 p.m. Saturday and 1-5 p.m. on Sundays in June only. The pool will be closed on Sundays in July and August.

Also, the pool will offer free "Family Fun Nights" from 5-7 p.m. on Monday and Tuesday throughout the summer so families can enjoy the pool together, Moffitt said.

He said a mother recently called him to say how much fun her children had climbing the wall at a party at the pool.

"It was a party with about 15 kids, and the mother who organized it contacted us and just raved about how much the kids loved the wall," Moffitt said.

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