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Oklahoma's state parks, tourist areas prepare for Labor Day weekend

Lakes, parks and other tourist areas across Oklahoma are preparing for Labor Day weekend.
by Silas Allen Modified: August 28, 2014 at 3:00 pm •  Published: August 28, 2014

Chandra Rickey might be one of the only people at Broken Bow Lake who’s hoping for rain this weekend.

Rickey is one of three owners of Girls Gone Wine, a boutique winery just outside Beavers Bend State Park near Broken Bow. Labor Day weekend usually means good business for the winery, Rickey said. But if forecasts for thunderstorms come true, Rickey said she expects even more lake visitors will come to the winery rather than boating or hiking in the rain.

“When it rains, we pour,” Rickey said. “It helps our business because there’s nothing much to do.”

The National Weather Service’s Shreveport office predicts a 40 percent chance of thunderstorms in Broken Bow on Thursday. Although that rain would put a damper on the weekend for some people, Beavers Bend State Park manager Jim Miller said traffic in the park is already beginning to pick up. No matter what the weather brings, Miller said he expects a busy weekend.

Trout fishermen, in particular, Miller said, will be out rain or shine.

“There’s trout waiting to be caught now,” he said.

AAA Oklahoma estimates about 408,000 Oklahomans will travel over the Labor Day weekend. That’s about a 2 percent increase over Labor Day 2013 and the most since Labor Day 2008. Nearly 85 percent of those travelers are expected to go by car, with the rest traveling by air, rail, bus or other means of transportation.

Susie Snider, park manager at Lake Thunderbird State Park in Norman, said crews were out Wednesday preparing the park for the weekend. The Labor Day weekend doesn’t typically bring as many visitors as Memorial Day or Independence Day, she said, but she expected camp sites to be full.

by Silas Allen
General Assignment/Breaking News Reporter
Silas Allen is a news reporter for The Oklahoman. He is a Missouri native and a 2008 graduate of the University of Missouri.
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