Winter is here, at least according to the Hannibal Parks and Recreation Department.

Yes, autumn is still more than three weeks away. Yes, winter doesn't officially arrive until December 21. But it's still winter at the Admiral Coontz Recreation Center starting Tuesday, September 4.

Parks and Rec just announced that winter hours for the Rec Center start after Labor Day. It will be open 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday.

My friend and cousin Mary Lynne Richards does a fantastic job marketing the Hannibal Parks and Recreation Department. She's easily the best public relations specialist I've ever worked with. However, I have to make fun of Mary Lynne every time she sends out the news release announcing winter hours in September. I finally bothered to find out the actual reason why.

Many businesses have expanded summer hours. It's just the opposite at the old armory, as us locals stubbornly continue to call the Rec Center. The massive old building doesn't have air conditioning and most people prefer to take their summer recreation outside anyway, so the summer hours are 7:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Now that's summer's nearly over, the building is open the regular hours that it keeps the rest of the year.

The Admiral Coontz Recreation Center is a real asset to Hannibal. There is a walking track (12 laps equal 1 mile) and two basketball courts. Pickleball courts, sports equipment, games and puzzles are available for use. An attendant on duty can lend out equipment.

The Play without Boundaries Sensory Room is open during regular hours. There are games, puzzles and supplies for all-inclusive indoor play for adults and children.

Senior Adult dances are noon to 3 p.m. Wednesdays. The Rec Center is used nightly for sports practices, indoor archery, pickleball leagues, horseshoes and other activities.

The Admiral Coontz Rec Center will be closed Monday, Sept. 3, in observance of Labor Day.

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