Cumberland Pool swim show is a splash

Historical Picture of Cumberland Pool

Every summer, for at least the last 45 years, Cumberland Pool in Cleveland Heights has hosted an annual water show. This year on Aug. 4, about 500 people enjoyed the evening show. 45 years ago, my wife was in the show, and for the last eight years my daughters and their friends have participated.

Based on photographic records, the tradition of a water show in Cleveland Heights dates back to 1944. At that time, the show featured elaborate sets and well-known movie stars. Today, the show features divers and synchronized swimmers who participate in the Cleveland Heights summer recreation program. The program is open to all ranging in age from 5 to 16.

It’s a great time, which is why it’s so well attended. The show is choreographed to music. Sets are designed by the lifeguards. 

One of the most interesting things to witness is how well the kids get along. Besides the age diversity, these kids represent the wide range of diversity found in our neighborhoods. Most fascinating is how the older kids mind the younger ones – something I’ve observed as well in our public school playgrounds. For example, the show culminates with the entire cast in the water, in the dark, wearing glow sticks and making shapes in the water – like a marching band. Cumberland is a huge pool, and deep! Most of the younger kids need some help, and the older kids are right there to hold them up. 

So, another year has gone by. Cumberland is now closed for the season. Every few weeks while driving in the neighborhood, we’ll pull in the parking lot and gaze through the fence at the empty pool wishing it was summer – which it will be again, in less than a year!

Jim Posch is a 27-year resident of Cleveland Heights. He’s a CH-UH Library Board Trustee, on the CH-UH Schools Lay Finance Committee, co-President of the Heights PTA Council and serves in many other civic capacities.

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Volume 2, Issue 10, Posted 4:51 PM, 09.21.2009