Area residents who were lucky enough to also have Monday off got an extended holiday to celebrate the Fourth of July this year.
Fireworks stands proliferated across Riverbank, while families and friends flocked to Jacob Myers Park to cavort in the cool water of the Stanislaus River.
Although public safety organizations recently gave away free life vests in an effort to promote local water safety, on Saturday, many swimmers at the park were braving the chilly river without using any safety equipment.
Electronic signs at the entrance to the park warned of the high, cold, fast-moving water in the river and recommended against swimming there. Authorities continue to recommend that people stay out of the river, opting instead for lakes, reservoirs and community or private pools. Stanislaus Consolidated crews, in fact, were involved in at least two river rescue incidents over the past few days – a 22-year-old Sonora woman drowned near Knights Ferry on June 28 and nine people were rescued, escaping unharmed, after their raft flipped over east of Oakdale.