Starting next Tuesday the Ardmore Parks and Recreation Department will begin accepting online registration for programs and special events as well as taking reservations for pavilions. The new feature will be found on the homepage of the city’s website,

Director Teresa Ervin said people are still welcome to register for all events and programs at the office as well, but she expects the online option to be incredibly popular.

“This is such a convenience to our customers. That’s the key to this” Ervin said. “We’re in the people business, and we love to see you, but we understand that online can be more convenient for you to get your things booked.”

Assistant Director Alicia Henry said people will be able to use a credit card to book virtually all activities online with the only exception being camping spots at Mountain Lake. New events will be added a few weeks before they go live, and reservations for a pavilion at Regional Park or a party at the Community Water Park can be booked as far as 180 days in advance.

“It won’t help us this year, but for example next year, tickets for the Haunted Forest will be available online,” Henry said. “People won’t have to stand in line to buy their tickets and then stand in line again to get to the trail. They can buy their tickets in advance before they show up.”

One event coming up soon which will be available for online reservations will be the Jolly Trolley which will be running December 9-12. The event will take guests on the Ardmore Trolley from Central Park to Regional Park to drive through the Festival of Lights. Last year all tickets were sold out before the first ride even took place. This year people can purchase their tickets either online or in person starting November 4.

Online booking will also include automated surveys the Parks Department will send out after the event has taken place. Ervin said these surveys are extremely helpful because they show the department how they can improve and generate new ideas about how to better serve their guests.

“We’ve been talking about this for several years and now we feel like we’ve grown to the point where we really need this,” Ervin said. “Any program our department has at any of the parks or the HFV Wilson Community Center, you can sign up from home on your schedule.”