MARQUETTE - Warm weather and sunny skies made for a beautiful start to the Labor Day weekend in the Marquette area, and many people took advantage of the weather for a weekend spent outdoors.
Area campgrounds filled up, including at the Tourist Park, where most of the park's 110 sites were filled Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
"Generally, it's been one of the more consistently busy weekends (on Labor Day weekend)," said Andy Kovac, a park attendant at Tourist Park. "We were full a week or so before, too. Between (Marquette Area) Blues Fest, the (Marquette Kennel Club) dog show and it being Labor Day weekend, we're pretty booked up."
From left, Bev, Mike, Marshall and Emily Ferguson relax at their campsite at the Tourist Park in Marquette Saturday afternoon. The Fergusons, from Traverse City, spent their holiday weekend enjoying the great outdoors in the Marquette area. (Journal photo by Jackie Stark)
The park boasts a variety of sites, from rustic to sites with full electric and water hookups.
"This year, we've gotten more of a demand for the rustic sites," Kovac said. "People are coming in with self-sufficient campers, with solar panels. That kind of stuff seems to be more popular."
Among the campers for the weekend was the Ferguson family from Traverse City. Emily Ferguson is a senior elementary education major at Northern Michigan University and her mother Bev, father Mike and brother Marshall, 14, spent the weekend in Marquette visiting.
"We love it here," Bev Ferguson said.
The family had already made trips up Sugarloaf and Hogback mountains over the weekend and were planning Sunday afternoon to head out to the Black Rocks at Presque Island Park to take the plunge into the cool waters of Lake Superior.
Emily Ferguson remembered jumping into the lake in early spring, climbing over snowbanks for a quick dip in the icy water.
"You got in and you were instantly numb," she said.
However, a warmer than average summer has kept Lake Superior from scaring away too many potential swimmers this year.
The warm weekend weather will continue today as well, with highs expected to reach into the 80s, though some thunderstorms could dampen the sunshine this afternoon.
"We have a front coming through (today), a cold front that could bring some showers and thunderstorms, unfortunately," said Megan Dodson, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service station in Negaunee Township. "We have about a 20 percent chance of rain in the morning, and then once you get into the afternoon, it's about 30 to 40 percent.
"Overall, we expect less than a tenth of an inch of rain, so it's not too much."
Jackie Stark can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 242. Her email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.