SAN MARCOS, Texas - Riverfront parks in San Marcos reopened to the public Friday, and dozens of people couldn’t wait to get outside and enjoy them.
Reopened parks include Rio Vista Park, City Park (including Dog Beach), San Marcos Plaza Park, Juan Veramendi Plaza Park, William & Eleanor Crook Park, Hays County Veterans Memorial, JJ Stokes Park, and Ramon Lucio Park (including the San Marcos Wildlife Annex).
They are open seven days a week from 8 a.m.-8 p.m. Visitors are expected to take precautions including washing their hands, social distancing, and wearing a face-covering when social distancing is not possible.
For the past two months, the parks in San Marcos have been closed in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the community. As of Friday, there were 105 active cases of the virus in Hays County.
That didn’t scare off several groups of people from spending the day at Rio Vista Park.
“I just wanted to beat the crowd. I think this is the first day that everything’s open, so I just wanted to get ahead of everybody. The water’s perfectly clear right now, probably the best it’ll look in months,” said Michael Chew who was at the park with friends and family.
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“Well, the plan is to come out, enjoy this beautiful day on the river. I’ve been in quarantine for so long, so we’ve just been going crazy sitting at home, so we’re just ready for some fun in the sun,” said Serafin Mendez, who traveled from East Bernard to spend Memorial Day weekend in San Marcos.
City leaders are discouraging large crowds and said social distancing guidelines are still in place.
“I think everybody’s everybody’s pretty cautious for the most part. I mean, people are obviously not 6 feet apart, but they feel comfortable just being here and I’m comfortable being here as well,” Chew said.
“Everybody’s spread out and they’re not very big crowds. We came as a small crowd, a crowd of four, so that’s all we’re really expecting is small crowds to keep their distance from each other,” said Mendez.
The City’s Parks Department said tubing, kayaking, canoeing, or swimming are all allowed. However, playgrounds, basketball courts, and pavilions will remain closed.
City leaders said they will monitor the local COVID-19 case count to determine whether removing park restrictions has a negative impact on public health.
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