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Staff photo by C.B. Schmelter / Ben Williams moves one of the inflatable features of the NoogaSplash obstacle course while helping to install it at Chester Frost Park on Tuesday, May 26, 2020 in Hixson, Tenn. The first of its kind in the region, NoogaSplash is an on-the-water obstacle course, featuring slides, climbing walls, spring boards, monkey bars and more.

NoogaSplash will celebrate its grand opening this Thursday, though families have had the opportunity to bounce about the on-the-water obstacle course for two weeks now.

Located at Chester Frost Park, NoogaSplash is the area's first-of-its-kind aqua park, featuring nearly 10,000 square feet of inflatable slides, climbing walls, springboards, monkey bars and more. After being delayed due to coronavirus concerns, the park held its soft opening the Tuesday after Memorial Day and has been quietly operating since.

"We wanted to use this time to train our staff and make any necessary adjustments," said Larry Zehnder, who co-founded the park with local landscape architect John Brown.

According to Zehnder, the trial run went swimmingly.

The first two days attracted more than 100 guests, and Zehnder said he was reassured that NoogaSplash would be able to enforce its precautionary measures in preventing the spread of coronavirus.

Per each one-hour session, the number of participants permitted on the course is limited to less than 50. Lifeguards enforce social distancing inside the splash park. And life jackets, required for all guests, are sanitized between uses and at the end of each day.

"Feedback so far has been great," said Zehnder, whose vision was to create a family-friendly attraction that promoted fitness. " One person even wrote on our Facebook page that [NoogaSplash] was the best thing to happen to Chattanooga."

Grand-opening festivities will be held Thursday at 4:30 p.m. and will include a ribbon-cutting ceremony. The splash park is located 200 feet from shore at Chester Frost beach and requires admission to enter. The beach area, however, remains free and open to the public.

Learn more at noogasplash.com.

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