Rain didn't dampen holiday weekend fun

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Although the rainy weather kept many lake goers and swimmers indoors this weekend, Roaring River State Park sold over 3,300 trout tags and rented all campsites for the Memorial holiday.

"This year was slow because of the rain," said Denver Dixon, Big M Marina owner. "As a matter of record, this was one of the slowest weekends we have had during a major holiday."

Even though lake traffic was light, the Big M campground was full for the majority of the weekend.

"It was better than last year, because last year we had water in the campground," said Dixon. "You could tell that the people who came out were ready for summer to get here."

Campbell Point Marina owner Gene Stimble said that lake traffic was up in the Shell Knob area until the rain set in late in the weekend.

"We didn't have much lake traffic on Memorial Day, but the rest of the weekend was very nice," said Stimble. "The people who were out were very courteous. You could tell they were happy to get out to the lake after the season we had last year."

The Cassville Aquatic Center was also impacted by rain this weekend. According to Michelle Bredeson, Cassville Family YMCA facility manager, only around 50 swimmers visited the pool on Sunday and Monday.

"It was very slow," said Bredeson. "We closed early both days due to the rain. The kids who did come were die hards though. We had kids standing in line at 11 a.m. both days and we don't open until 1 p.m."

Wet weather may have kept vacationers away from the lake and the local pool, but no amount of rain could keep campers and anglers away from Roaring River.

"We had a very good weekend," said Dusty Reid, park superintendent. "It was a very quiet weekend with no problems and many families camping in the park."

Campers filled Roaring River's first-come-first-serve campsites by Wednesday. Park visitors who reserved sites for the weekend began setting up camp on Friday, said Reid.

"Most of the campers stayed the whole weekend," said Reid. "We did have around 20 sites available on Sunday night."

The park store sold over 3,300 trout tags during the Memorial Day weekend. Tag sales were as follows: 430 on Friday; 1,160 on Saturday; 1,142 on Sunday; and 615 on Monday.

"Even though we had gloomy weather the weekend really turned out well," said Jerry Dean, hatchery manager.

According to Dean, less than one-10th of an inch of rain fell in the park on Saturday. On Sunday, 0.56 inches of rain fell in Roaring River, and an inch of rain was recorded on Monday.

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