ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – The Abilene State Park is getting ready for Independence Day weekend and bracing for a surge in visitors.

Many families have traveled from all over the Big Country, Minnesota, and even Albuquerque, New Mexico, to visit the Abilene State Park.

“This is just one of those things that we get to do to get out of the house for a little bit,” says the Riddle family from Albuquerque. 

Abilene resident Bessie Lamb, 87, says she’s been going to the park since she was 12 years old.  

“It was a fun time with lots of people that I still remember, but they’re all gone. But anyway, memories are all I’ve got left,” says Lamb.    

Lamb says she’s now able to make new memories, going back to the state pool with her great-granddaughters.

“I don’t get to come out here unless some of the little ones are coming. So, it gets me out of the house, and I have enjoyed it so much,” says Lamb.   

Swimming pools and the great outdoors is what the Abilene State Park has to offer, and Ryan Hunter with the park says it’s been an outlet for people throughout the pandemic.  

“We’ve been incredibly busy, selling out all of our campsites, lots of people coming out for day use throughout the whole thing,” says Hunter.    

Hunter says they are still enforcing certain COVID safety protocols, especially for the pool, in preparation for July, their busiest month.

“Alcohol and water don’t really mix, so we want people to be safe. We don’t want any drowning. We want everyone to have a safe, healthy, happy Fourth of July weekend and celebrate safely.”  

They will be limiting the sale of pool tickets and will have two separate swimming sessions in the early and late afternoon to accommodate those restrictions.  

“We’re really hoping that everyone has a good time, but does it safely,” says Hunter.  

The Abilene State Park encourages those who plan to visit this weekend to buy the limited pool tickets ahead of time.

Click here to see ticket pricing and for a full pool schedule.