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Published May 27, 2012, 06:16 PM

Fewer campers are pitching tents this holiday weekend

Grand Forks, ND (WDAY TV) -- Campgrounds expecting a busy weekend, like the Red River State Recreation Area, are taking a hit with fewer campers pitching tents.

By: Meagan Millage, WDAZ, WDAY

Grand Forks, ND (WDAY TV) -- Campgrounds expecting a busy weekend, like the Red River State Recreation Area, are taking a hit with fewer campers pitching tents.

Catherine Johnson, Park Manager: "We're only about at 50%. A lot of people didn't make reservations this week. They were waiting to see what the weather was going to be like and obviously it's not good!"

Red River State Recreation Manager Catherine Johnson says their season was off to a good start. The park opened earlier this year because it wasn't flooded.

Catherine: "It's been great, and the weather was actually better during that time than it is right now. And so we were pretty busy right from the beginning and people were surprised that we were open."

With the cold, rainy weather this holiday weekend.. Johnson says many campers stayed home. But one family of six isn't letting the chill keep them inside..

"Sit around the camp fire.. roasting marshmallows.. Going for hikes."

Alice Drew and her family say the weather isn't so bad.

Alice Drew, Camper: "We like to take our at least three day weekends and go camping when it starts to get nice outside. And you know, it was stormy last night but we got our camper trailer so we were all snuggled up in there, so it was all fine."

But not everyone has felt the same way.

Empty campsites like this one aren't a good sign here at the Red River State Recreation Area. But park officials say it's the first weekend of many this summer, and they hope to have a busy season to make up for last summer's government shutdown.

Catherine Johson: "In August it's the East Grand Forks 125th. All that celebration, those people are looking at booking up those sites so a lot of different activities will bring more people in."

Johnson believes the campground won't look like this all summer.

The shutdown last year cost campgrounds all of July, their busiest month.

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