Memorial Day kicks off summer for families




The long Memorial Day weekend provided local and out-of-town residents the opportunity to have fun together, eat together, swim together, congregate together and remember together.

Thirteen-year-old Sammy Guevara spent time with 14-year-old Tito Perez and 14-year-old Malachi Salas riding ATVs through the riverbed Saturday.

"I know this whole river. I ride miles and miles," Guevara said. "I wipe out at least once a day every time I come out here."

They said they were also planning to hang out with family over the weekend.

"We will probably have a cookout at my house or something," Guevara said.

Not far away from the river, the Solorzano family was preparing for a big family picnic at Finnup Park Saturday.

"We're just going to party," 14-year-old Erika Solorzano said.

Her 13-year-old sister, Anahi Solorzano, said their dad, Dionicio Solorzano, was going to grill meat, rice and beans.

"We're going to eat some food, have some cake, salad and rolls today," Anahi Solorzano said. "We're also having a another party at our house Sunday."

Just around the corner, pool-goers got to take a dip in the Big Pool that opened for the season Saturday — a welcome relief from the 90-plus-degree weather.

Because of the hot weather that continued into Sunday, 15-year-old Noah East, 12-year-old Matthew East and 6-year-old Hope East, who are from Emporia, where it was only in the mid-80s, chose to stay inside and watch movies and play video games together.

"I love having time to spend with my brother and sister, because school was stressful this year," Noah East said. "We also got to come see relatives we haven't gotten to see in awhile."

At the seventh annual Wanda C. Hahn Memorial Day reunion, her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, ate and visited at the Eagles Lodge.

"Our family is getting bigger and so many have moved away. This weekend is a perfect time to get together," Sheila Hulett, Colwich, said.

Gina Halksworth, Belvue, said there are usually more than 30 family members from all over the state who attend each year.

"I can't think of anything better than getting together with my cousins. I'm sure we will continue this tradition for years to come," Halksworth said.

Jeremy Hahn, Garden City, said it's a nice way to catch up with everybody and see their "pretty faces."

Because the purpose of the Memorial Day holiday is to remember those who have died in service to the nation and deceased loved ones, Patty VanCampen, Holcomb, said, "It really helps me to be with family during this holiday."

Halksworth said they planned to take flowers up to place on their loved ones' graves.

This was one of the main purposes of the holiday, aside from visiting family members in Garden City, the East kids' mother, Julie East, said,

"I love going to the cemetery with my family and visiting our loved ones' graves, because even though they aren't with us anymore, they are still part of our family. And I love hearing the stories and laughing. It's not a sad time for me; it's joyful," East said. "It's also nice to have a longer weekend to spend with family members we don't get to see very much."

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