City of Dublin cancels 2020 Irish Festival, lays out plans for reopening


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DUBLIN, Ohio (WCMH) — During a special counsel meeting, Dublin City Manager Dana McDaniel and City Staff announced the cancellation of the 2020 Irish Festival scheduled for July 31, August 1-2, 2020.

City officials also presented proposed reopening plans to Dublin City Council regarding re-opening pools, the Dublin Community Recreation Center, and summer day camps.

All of the reopening proposals include modifications so the facilities will be in compliance with the health and safety mandates from the Ohio Department of Health and Franklin County Public Health.

Public input was provided before and during the digital Council meeting.

“The safety of our guests, volunteers, staff and participants is our top priority,” said McDaniel. “The challenges of adhering to social-distancing guidelines, assuring fiscal responsibility and maintaining the highest quality entertainment experience also factored heavily into the decision, which was supported by a majority of the Irish Festival Honorary Chairs, Committee Chairs and Irish Festival Founders.”

McDaniel and staff presented a proposed Restart/Re-open plan to make certain facilities accessible again.

“The Dublin Community Recreation Center and our outdoor recreation facilities are many of the programs the City of Dublin is proud to provide, and our residents look forward to and enjoy,” said McDaniel. “The City will need to provide these programs in a very different way than before. It will not be the same experience. But we are giving our best effort to open up these services in the best way possible for our public to enjoy.”

McDaniel emphasized everything is subject to change.

The City’s Restart/Reopen Plan:

  • Opened on May 26 – tennis courts/baseball/softball/cricket fields and skate park.
  • June 1 – City office buildings (City Hall, Development Building and Service Center) will re-open to the public with limited access, appointments encouraged and safety guidelines. Meeting rooms remain closed. The City encourages the public use of online/digital engagement and service tools like the GoDublin app.
  • June 1 – Justice Center/Mayor’s Court – hearings will resume.
  • June 8 – Proposed target date for Dublin Community Recreation Center with limited services and 90-minute time restrictions (contingent upon Franklin County Public Health approval).

Operational modifications for the initial reopening include:

  • Use by members only
  • Limited to adult (ages 16 & up) members and adult members and their kids who are members and meet fitness floor and track age requirements.
  • Sign up via RecTrac for pre-determined 90-minute window of time (contact tracing)
  • 30 minute closures in between for cleaning and disinfection
  • Fitness Floor and Track open with equipment spacing to provide for distancing
  • Restrooms will be open for members
  • Entry into the recreation center will be controlled and safety precautions will be enforced including:
    • Temperature screenings
    • Social distancing
    • Face coverings strongly recommended
    • Hand hygiene
    • Cleaning of equipment
  • Group Fitness Classes will be offered online via Virtually DiRECt

The following DCRC services/facilities will be closed and/or not permitted upon reopening:

  • Gym use is being evaluated
  • No daily passes will be offered
  • No facility rentals (Tallas may be utilized for camps)
  • No personal training
  • Senior and Teen Lounges
  • No Group Fitness classes will be offered in the DCRC building – Group Fitness Studios (aerobic rooms) will be used for expanded fitness equipment space
  • No Wee Folk room services
  • Locker room showers and changing rooms closed. Patrons will need to come dressed to work out and shower at home
  • June 15 proposed target date – Limited Summer Day Camps

          Operational modifications for the initial reopening include:

  • Camp plans vary by camp type.
  • Social distancing requirements will reduce group sizes significantly to nine kids per group with one staff. Best practice is two adults per group, so groups would be 8:2.
  • Each group will be physically separated in individual classrooms from other groups.
  • Camp capacity varies greatly on use of space by the schools. Limited alternatives for space because of space needs and cleaning and sanitization requirements.
  • Drop off will be curbside.
  • Entry into the camp will be controlled and safety precautions will be enforced including:
    • Temperature screenings
    • Monitoring of children for symptoms
    • Social distancing
    • Face coverings required unless accommodation needs to be made
    • Hand hygiene
    • Kids eat lunches with their small group in their classroom.
  • Canceled: Adventure Camp & LEED – cancelled because essence of camp is field trips which are not permitted. My First Camp – cancelled due to low enrollment and Jr. Kidzone, Discovery, Wyandott, Wyandott Next.
  • Aquatics (Dublin Pool South and Indoor Lap Pool) opening no sooner than July 1 with significant restrictions. Staff will continue to assess health guidelines, operational needs and associated costs. Staff will respond to Council’s questions and provide updates between now and July 1. The Dublin Community Pool North remains closed for planned renovations.

Operational modifications for the initial reopening include:

  • Daily passes only OR sign up via RecTrac for pre-determined window of time with closures in between for cleaning/disinfection.
  • 90-minute time blocks, 115 people each
  • Residents pre-pay online up to 7 days in advance
  • Lifeguards monitor life safety, staff on deck monitor 6 feet distancing
  • Restrooms will need disinfected every 2 hours, awaiting pricing for contract cleaning support
  • Entry into the pool will be controlled and safety precautions will be enforced including:
  • Temperature screenings
  • Social distancing
  • Face coverings strongly recommended
  • Hand hygiene

The following amenities remain closed per ODH Stay Safe at Home Order dated 4/30/2020 until further notice:

• Contact sports including:

  • Basketball Courts
  • Soccer Fields (except for conditioning/training)
  • Volleyball Courts • Playgrounds

• Park Shelters (reservations cancelled through end of May)


  • Ballantrae Community Park Spray Fountains (closed for the season)
  • Park Restrooms (coordinate with opening with playgrounds, will need to disinfect twice per day, awaiting pricing for contract cleaning support)
  • Water Fountains (closed for the season)   

The Dublin Irish Festival is an international, award-winning event that attracts more than 100,000 guests annually and produces an estimated annual economic impact of $8.5 million. The City of Dublin funds the Festival through the City’s Hotel/Motel Tax fund and revenues generated by the event. Ticket buyers will have the option to receive a refund or transfer their tickets for use at the 2021 Festival.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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