Residents make the best of three-day weekend despite pandemic

Hampden County

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SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The curtain came down Monday on the swimming season at Westfield’s Hampton Ponds State Park.

Hampton Ponds and Chicopee State Park filled a need for many Springfield area families. Those families were discouraged by health agencies from visiting beaches on the Cape and Rhode Island because of COVID-19.

Beachgoers told 22News, they’ve enjoyed staying closer to home. The local beaches opened Memorial Day weekend and have reportedly enjoyed robust attendance right up until the end of the season.

Residents from across western Massachusetts flocked to Forest Park in Springfield Monday. People of all ages were riding bikes, feeding the ducks, and having picnics by the pond, all enjoying the nice weather before we head into fall and winter.

“Well, my wife and I are planning to just walk the park and enjoy the beauty of God’s creations and basically taking a stay-cation,” Rudy Vogel of Springfield told 22News.

The pandemic threw off many people’s plans this year. Traditionally, this weekend is when many residents host large cookouts or when towns hold a Labor Day breakfast.

To help prevent community spread, Governor Charlie Baker reminded everyone to wear their mask and maintain social distancing whenever possible.

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