The community pool in Marana, Ariz., is older than the town itself.

The Marana Pool opened in 1972, while the town after which it’s named was established in 1977. This year marks the 45th anniversary for the town, which has a population of slightly more than 50,000, while the pool reached its 50th.

To commemorate the milestone, the facility hosted the Marana Pool 50th Jubilee. It also provided the opportunity to show the community everything that the Marana Pool offers, considering that the facility is tucked away in a more rural area.

It helped that the anniversary also held special meaning for its head organizer, Kevin Goodrich, aquatics recreation supervisor for Parks and Recreation. “I learned to swim in the Marana Pool,” he says. “It’s been a staple in the community for my whole life.”

Celebrating community

Jubilee attractions included carnival games, such as a cakewalk sponsored by the local recreational swim team, and activities to demonstrate the many programs offered by the Marana Aquatics Division.

“We had all sorts of fun activities in the water and outside of the water, like a cannonball contest, swim lesson trials, [and] a water aerobics trial,” Goodrich says.

The lifeguards were onhand not only to keep visitors safe, but also to teach swim lessons, run water aerobics, and judge the cannonball contest.

The Jubilee also offered the opportunity to showcase the town’s #SplashSavvy drowning awareness program, which received a 2021 Best of Aquatics award for community outreach. Being relatively new, it needed more exposure, the organizers figured.

To get the word out about the celebration, the communications team designed promotional materials for social media, advertising the event heavily on Facebook and Instagram, as well as sending email blasts.

Solid introduction

Good timing goes hand and hand with good marketing, so Goodrich and his team were intentional about date selection.

The Jubilee also served as a kick-off for swimming season, taking place a day before the official pool opening. Community members who had never visited could check it out and come back for the summer.

The special event took a sizable team, including Allison Rock, aquatics recreation programmer and Jesse Stokes, aquatic maintenance technician for Marana Aquatics Division. They were happy with the results.

“I think people attended not knowing the pool was there, and it showed them we’re here,” said Goodrich. “We had people asking to sign up for swim lessons and how to take a water release class.”

While the Jubilee was a tribute to past accomplishments, the town also looks forward to a brand-new aquatics center with two pools that will be open year-round. “The Jubilee was a celebration of Marana Pool and how long it’s been there but also a celebration of our trajectory of moving forward and growing.”