GROTON -- In a season that began with a bang on June 20 with at times 90 degree plus temperatures, it is perhaps a good thing that the town offers many divertissements both public and private for the discriminating resident or young person desperate to chase the summer blues away.
The season's recreational activities will be bookended with two public events that have become traditions in town beginning with a fireworks display marking the nation's 236th birthday.
According to Parks Commission chairman Donald Black, this year's Fourth of July extravaganza will actually take place on July 6 to take advantage of the weekend with a rain date of July 7 if the weather doesn't cooperate.
Those planning on attending should be on the lookout for the usual live music, food, and a lively audience of hudnreds not only from Groton but from every other surrounding town.
"There might be a couple added events during the summer, but we're still waiting to get them firmed up," said Black of other activities his department is working on.
Be that as it may, the end of the summer will be marked by the annual Labor Day parade and fireman's muster likely held at the Hollingsworth & Vose Field in West Groton as it has been for years.
In addition to the event's legendary barbecued chicken (and maybe even boiled lobster?), king sized hamburgers, and condiment loaded hot dogs, look for the usual Boy Scout yard sale, field games, and of course, contests between
Not to be overlooked on the public side of the ledger is the Groton Public Library which can act as a island of summertime calm with its cool, air conditioned rooms. Besides the thousands of books and magazines to be found there, the library also boasts the latest in wireless capabilities including free downloads of books and music for iPads, Kindle, and other electronic doohickeys.
In addition, among the activities being promoted for the summer is the "Under the Stars" program to take place between June 19 and Aug. 17. For that, young adults start off reading "Ghosts and Hauntings" and follow up with a tour of the town's Old Burying Ground.
The program then involves further reading with awards and prizes along the way when milestones are reached including free ice cream, movie passes, and gift certificates to popular chain stores.
"In the summer, participation in the library by the town's young people triples with 81 kids signed up for the young adult reads program already," said library director Owen Shuman who expected to recruit as many as 300 young people by the time the program is in full swing.
For more info on what the library has to offer, check out its website at http://gpl.org/.
Of course, what would summer be without swimming? And happily for local water lovers, Sargisson Beach on Lost Lake/Knops Pond will be open for use although without an official presence in the form of lifeguards and wharf.
In addition, there are likely other, less official places for water lovers to take a dip around town (you know where they are!)
Still, swimmers can find fun in the more civilized surroundings of the Pool & Golf Center (formerly the Groton Country Club), where for a modest sum residents can while away a lazy afternoon by poolside.
For those who need it, swim lessons for both individuals or groups are available as well as a program called Masters Swim, coached swim practice for those 18 and older. The center also offers access to its Swim Team program that features competitive swimming with swim meets. And to top it all off, the center's heated pool is also available to rent for birthday and other pool parties!
And that doesn't even count the golf side of the Pool & Golf Center which includes weekly summer camp sessions, day camps offering golf lessons, tennis, and swimming activities. All that and lunch and a snack too, all for a modest weekly fee.
And for sun worshippers, don't overlook the center's weekly Junior Golf Academy Sessions, group golf lessons for young adults!
"The Groton Pool & Golf Center is an affordable recreational facility open to the public," said center manager Robert Whalen. "We offer season, daily, and weekly pool guest passes for both Groton residents and non residents. We offer golf season guest passes and daily play for a modest green fee and we accept tee time reservations."
For more details on programs, times, dates, and fees, check out the center's website at www.grotonpoolandgolf.com
Away from its public offerings, Groton won't exactly be lacking for other things to do this summer.
At the Peter Twomey Youth Center, director Karen Tuomi reports that she has a full roster of activities to keep kids of all ages busy including tennis lessons for elementary and middle school students as well as varied sports training programs for middle and high schoolers.
The center even offers a day camp for kindergartners to middle schoolers that includes visits to Mirror Lake two days a week, a field trip on another day, and activities from crafts to games taking up the rest of the time.
For more information on the various programs, those interested can call the center at 978-448-0398.
In addition to all of the foregoing, local churches, businesses, and other private groups no doubt have just as many activities and programs geared up for the season and anyone interested is urged to investigate them either by looking up them up in the phone book or surfing the Internet for their various websites.