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Diving into summer
Alexa allison little girl
Two-year-old Alexa Allison concentrates on catching water and playing in the zero-entry area. Her parents are John and Brittany Allison, and they reside in Cookeville.

When you have a good thing, it seems word travels fast. That is the case for Gilley Pool, with more and more out-of-towners coming to enjoy the cool waters and assorted activities. 

The pool is McMinnville’s largest attraction featuring a zero-entry area with a ladder slide, spray cannons, water features, and two separate water slides. For the competitive swimmer, 25-yard and 50-meter lanes are available, making it the home of the McMinnville Swim Team. Diving boards are available for those seeking more advanced fun. All this for an admittance fee of $4 per person.

Tony and Donna Reed spent the day at the pool recently with their two grandsons, Macon, 5 and Declan, 3. They reside in Readyville, and enjoy sharing time with the grandchildren.

“We come here because the kids love it, but we like McMinnville in general,” said Tony. “People are friendly, and the pool has something for everyone. The grill puts out some pretty good food too.”

Cristy Simpson has taken over the pool manager position this season, and is very pleased with the activity during her inaugural season.

“I’m a Warren County High School teacher, so I know most of my lifeguards, and it is working out very well,” said Simpson. “We have had weekends where we have reached our max capacity of 800.”

She also acknowledges the fact that a lot of visitors from other counties come to the pool, and that makes her feel good.

“We do have some great stuff for all ages,” said Simpson. “Our Little Squirts program is on Monday and Wednesday at 9 a.m., with our lifeguards giving special attention to the little ones. Water aerobics are a hit also, and they are on Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 9 a.m.”

The concession stand is a popular spot at the pool, providing pizza, hamburgers, nachos, candy and assorted drinks for guests. The most popular treat on the hot summer days is the ice cream selections. 

Friends from Cookeville, Kylee Crouch and Maddie Street had to eat their ice cream quickly before the heat melted it into a puddle. Both of the girls say they love coming to Gilley Pool as often as they can.

“We have a pool in Cookeville, but it is not this nice,” said Street. “And we always enjoy our time here.”