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Ponca State Park expecting busy Memorial Day weekend

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PONCA, Nebraska (KTIV) - To try and contain the spread of COVID-19, overnight camping at Ponca State Park in Ponca, Nebraska was prohibited up until Wednesday.

People are taking advantage of the lifted restriction and enjoying time outdoors this Memorial Day weekend.

Ponca State Park covers over 2400 acres of land. The park offers a wide variety of amenities including campgrounds, fishing, horseback trail rides, golf, and more.

Park Superintendent Scott Oligmueller says he's excited to finally get some campers out on the park while still practicing social distancing and safe health measures.

"To get a taste of normal and to see people enjoying our great resources and stuff we have makes my job a lot better seeing people camping around the campfire doing dutch ovens, smores, and hot-dogs," said Oligemueller.

Oligmueller says some of their amenities, like their rental cabins, the Family Aquatic Center, and shower houses are still closed to ensure camper safety.

He says they are also using approved CDC cleaning supplies to disinfect areas that are shared by the public.

"We are doing everything we can here for the safety of the public and our staff as well," said Oligmueller.

All of the camping sites that were open, have sold out for the weekend.

Camper Teri Howard, from Columbus, Nebraska, says this is the first time in over 3 months that they are not self-isolating.

"It feels great, Sunday morning they opened up at 9 o'clock and I was on the phone at 9 o'clock trying to get a camp site, and it just feels so freeing," said Teri Howard.

Oligmueller says they are expecting over 300 campers this weekend. He says they hope to reopen fully soon.

Xava Parra

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