Lake Meredith experiencing record numbers in pandemic, expects big holiday weekend

VIDEO: Without fireworks, this Fourth of July will look a little different at Lake Meredith.

HUTCHINSON COUNTY, Texas (KFDA) - Without fireworks, this Fourth of July will look a little different at Lake Meredith.

Lake Meredith Superintendent Eric Smith says they expect holiday visitors to start arriving this afternoon and carry on through Saturday morning.

The lake has seen record visitation numbers, despite the pandemic hitting at full force.

“Our May visitation was double any May month for the past 20 years,” said Smith.

That May number was about 280,000 visitors, and the numbers have been either staying constant or increasing. As a result, Smith scheduled more staff and gave longer shifts.

Aside from the fireworks show being cancelled this year, there is also a fire restriction in effect at the lake.

The restriction prohibits people from using charcoal or wood-fire grills. Staff will be making sure people are only using the accepted propane grills and are also following social distance guidelines.

“The pandemic is still going on. Maintain social distancing, wait a little time if you have to so you are not around crowds of people that are not in your household unit. We are not the social distance police, but we will be reminding people to social distance to help prevent the spread of COVID-19,” said Smith.

Bait, Tackle, and Watercraft Rentals says many of the shop’s visitors have been from out of state, specifically from New Mexico. The influx of visitors have helped keep them afloat during a time when many businesses are struggling.

The bait shop said they knew this would be a busy weekend and ordered supplies to prepare.

“We have been booked up for RV sites for months for the Fourth of July and as well as boats, we’ve been booked up for a couple months as well,” said Brooke Hughes with Bait, Tackle and Watercraft Rentals.

If you’re planning to head out to Lake Meredith this weekend, remember to hydrate, be safe in the water, and maintain social distance as much as possible.

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