By Claire Schlaman
Special to The Signal
With temperatures soaring this Labor Day weekend, local residents are looking for ways to cool off and beat the heat.
With Castaic Lake being open to the public, including the beach access area, families can look forward to cooling off in the water or taking out a boat. However, county officials say that the lake is expected to be busy, and emphasize the importance of social distancing and wearing a mask whenever possible.
Cari Shapiro, a teacher from the San Fernando Valley, was at the lake Friday and plans to spend her birthday weekend staying inside and escaping the heat wave. “Our plan is just to stay cool and chill.”
The Santa Clarita Aquatic Center is also open, but all reservations have been booked through the weekend.
For both lap and recreational swimming, the Newhall Park Pool, located at 24907 Newhall Ave., is open to the public on a reservation basis. For $10, families of up to 10 can reserve their place for 45 minutes. To register for an account and see available reservation times, go to www.santa-clarita.com/seasons.
To beat the heat without swimming, the Stevenson Ranch Library is also open this weekend as a cooling center. Here, residents can have an air-conditioned place to stay, free of charge. As temperatures are expected to reach over 110 degrees, county officials stress the need to take safety precautions as well as still follow social distancing guidelines.
Chrystal Munoz made the trip from Modesto to Castaic Lake on Friday, when she knew fewer people would be there before the holiday weekend. She says she’s keeping her family safe by staying away from large gatherings. “We’re planning to keep to ourselves, staying in small groups, and going to areas in the lake where there aren’t many crowds.”
Despite the record temperatures, families are looking forward to celebrating Labor Day the traditional way by firing up the grills.
Santa Clarita residents Lucy Flores and Cristina and Ceci Ramirez are excited for their family to get together and cook out. “We look forward to barbecuing, especially carne asada. Getting everyone together for a big meal is a great way to spend the weekend.”
With many people wanting to celebrate Labor Day, residents can expect longer lines and larger crowds this weekend. L.A. County beaches will be open, but face masks and social distancing will be required. County officials are emphasizing the need for social distancing in public areas while also taking recommended precautions for the heat.