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Sacramento parks officials expecting large crowds at river Memorial Day weekend despite coronavirus pandemic

Sacramento County Park officials will have additional staffing in the parks and on the river to help ensure a safe weekend.

SACRAMENTO, Calif — Discovery Park in Sacramento was busy with dozens of visitors Wednesday, days ahead of Memorial Day weekend.

The traditional kick off to the Summer will be fraught this year with coronavirus restrictions. Officials with Sacramento County's Regional Park services are urging folks to have fun but be safe.

"It's gonna be warm, and it's always busy on Memorial Day, you know, unless it's raining," said Chief Ranger Wade Derby with Sacramento County Regional Parks. "But I think we got our rain about a week early, and it looks like it's gonna be warm coupled with the fact that some people are still working from home or staying home, I think yea we’re gonna have a pretty good crowd out there."

Sacramento County Park rangers will have additional staffing in the parks and on the river to help ensure a safe weekend, Derby said. This is a normal enforcement and safety measure taken during holiday weekends.

The Department reminding visitors that there will be an alcohol ban in place and life vests will be made available at area beaches.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, some things at local parks will be different, Derby said.

Pay stations will not be staffed for health safety reasons, so families are urged to be patient while drivers self-pay. Life vests will be made available on beaches and visitors are urged to wear them, especially given water temperatures still being low. County parks also wants to remind visitors that there will be an alcohol ban in effect this weekend due to the holiday.

Picnic and BBQ areas are closed per the Sacramento County Health order. Families are also urged not to intermingle with others. All visitors are asked to keep at least six feet from one another per state and county social distancing guidelines.

Sacramento County Regional Park officials say they have focused on providing education to those who are not following the measures.

No citations have been issued by park rangers specifically for someone not properly social distancing since the county and state stay at home orders went into effect two months ago. While parks have not had to enforce the measure yet, Derby says they will if they have to.

California State Parks are also advising the public to recreate responsibly this memorial weekend and through the Summer.

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