Campers enjoy weekend before Fourth of July
More than a thousand people spent this weekend at Thompson's Lake State Park in Albany County. It's the weekend before the Fourth of July, a holiday that staff said usually keeps them very busy. Our Beth Croughan visited the campground and found some campers that keep coming back.
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EAST BERNE, N.Y. -- For nearly 30 summers, Ann Blais has called Thompson's Lake home.
The experienced camper even earned a nickname among locals. You could call her The Mayor.
"It was made in jest and they understand that," Blais said of a sign hanging on her site. "There's a Governor across the street," she added.
The Governor is her friend Carol Flynn. "We meet the same people every year, which is nice, we all get together," said Flynn of her time at Thompson's Lake.
This Sunday, it's cards, cooking and coffee. "You just walked up on me, I was doing, well, pouring a cup of coffee," laughed Blais.
Both women have created a home away from home here. And for the upcoming Fourth, they've got big plans.
"On Wednesday, we have a party. We do parties on Fourth of July, Labor day. Ann, across the street and Nancy, who camps down on that end, we all get together with all our families and friends. So we have a crowd here on Fourth of July," explained Flynn.
Their celebration is not affected even though the holiday falls in the middle of the week. But campground staff expect others will choose between this weekend and next.
According to a State Parks spokesperson, two-thirds of state campsites are reserved now and for the Fourth and the parks are expected to be 80 percent full the following weekend. Those campers likely to learn what Ann and Carol already know.
"This is the place to be in the summer. We're in the shade right now. Comfortable right?" asked Ann.