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Campers out for Labor Day weekend at Wakonda State Park

It’s get-out-of-town mode for many Friday night as Labor Day weekend gets underway, for some, the destination is right here in the Tri-States at Wakonda State Park in Lewis County, Missouri.

Despite the rain early in the day Friday, many Labor Day weekend campers were set up since Thursday night, and park officials said it’ll only get busier.

"The big rush will be this evening, after work, this evening because our campground is 100% preservable," said Natural Resource Manager Kyle Scott, "so most of the sites are reserved way in advance so people know they have a place to come, so most of them will show up after they get off work this evening, between 5 and 8 probably."

Scott said that despite the chances for more rain over the weekend, he thinks people will still be out camping.

"The forecast of course changes by the minute, the rain that we were expecting today it’s kind of starting to dissipate," said Scott, "I checked the cancellations and they’ve been minimal, and other than having to be inside a little more than they wanted to be it’ll be fine."

Campers already out here at the park said the early bird gets the worm when it comes to spots.

Like Dean Austin, who drove over from Quincy with his family to spend the weekend camping and fishing with his grandson.

"Everybody’s off this weekend, we just come over to camp out," said Austin, who also had advice if you plan to come out on a busy weekend like this one, "better call early, cause we booked this a couple months ago, we usually go down in there [closer to the water] but [it was already booked], you gotta call early or you aren’t getting a spot."

Park officials said Labor Day weekend– along with 4th of July and Memorial Day– are the busiest weekends of the year, and that the average camper drives around 2 hours to come out. They also said that Wakonda park had almost 260,000 visitors last year– with over 15,000 guests staying overnight.

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