Families commonly celebrate the fourth of July weekend by heading outside. They pack their trucks and minivans to the brim with tents, hot-dog roasting sticks, and, hopefully, some bug-spray. It is a great tradition, one that is passed on through generations.
This year, those traditional celebrations simply did not happen for some folks.
The Minnesota State Parks, which had thousands of reservations for this past weekend, were closed because of the Republican shutdown. This means that families cut short or canceled their vacations just says before the fireworks went off, leaving families confused, upset and disappointed.
“Say ‘bye, state park,’” a mother told her little girls as they left William O’Brien. Her sentiment was shared by many other campers and park visitors, because they had at least tried to enjoy the weekend.
Families who could afford the rate moved to private campgrounds or stayed in small town hotels. This solution, however, only created another problem. The suddenly crowded small towns became congested with traffic.
Minnesotans still managed to enjoy their holiday weekends, even though they couldn’t keep up the same family traditions. I hope that the little girls who said “bye” to William O’Brien will soon be able to say “hello” again.