Memorial Day holiday kicks off summer fun
Justin Blum of Williamsport dives into the pool at Marty Snook Memorial Park in Halfway on Monday. (By Ric Dugan/Staff Photographer / May 28, 2012)
Several orange cones blocked the entrance into Greenbrier State Park at about 1 p.m. Monday because the park was at its capacity, a park ranger said.
Dan Spedden, park manager for the Maryland Park Service, said the park, popular for its camping and lake, regularly fills up over Memorial Day weekend.
“Nothing seems to affect our attendance except the weather,” he said. “Every year it just builds, and gets higher and higher.”
Greenbrier sold out all 165 of its campsites for the three-day weekend and twice sold out 570 parking spaces for lake users, Spedden said.
When at capacity, the park can accommodate 600 to 800 campers and up to 4,000 people in the lake area, he said.
“People are attracted here for the swimming more than they are for anything else,” Spedden said.
People retreated to the park as the mercury climbed to a high of 89.9 degrees at 4:41 p.m. in Hagerstown, according to Hagerstown weather observer Greg Keefer’s website at http://i4weather.net.
The Weisgerber family from Catonsville, Md., and the Jones family from Sykesville, Md., were at Greenbrier for a stop on their “Park Quest,” a state program through which families sign up as “teams” to tour 23 state parks across Maryland and do various activities.
At each stop, teams have certain “quests,” such as hiking, biking, kayaking or geocaching, Amy Weisgerber said.
Weisgerber’s team included her husband, Brian, and children Karis, 10, Ethan, 9, Kelyn, 6, and Andrew, 5.
“There’s a whole bunch of things to do,” she said, adding that it’s the second time that “Team Weisgerber” has participated in the program.
It was so busy at Potterfield Pool on Frederick Street Sunday that more than 20 people waited in line to get inside the pool gates at about 2 p.m.
Vickie Barnhart of Hagerstown was standing in line with her daughters and granddaughters. She said it’s the family’s tradition to come to the pool on opening weekend.
“It’s Memorial Day,” Barnhart said, with a towel in hand and wearing dark sunglasses to shield her eyes from the bright, hot sun. “Need to start it off right and enjoy the cold water ... when we get in.”
Inside, kids flew down the long, twisting slide while others ran and jumped in from the sides. New this year, a tandem slide is on the far side of the pool.
Kristin Van De Geer of Hagerstown said she and her family had to wait about 30 minutes to get into the pool.
With her sister visiting from New Jersey and mother in from Pittsburgh, Van De Geer said the group would have gone swimming at Hagers Crossing, where she lives, but the pool wasn’t open yet.
Along the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park in Williamsport, people walked along the canal, fished and took in the sights.