By Velena Jones

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – Small groups of immediate family members spread throughout the beach at Discovery Park Friday. It’s a stark contrast from Memorial Day weekend where the area saw around a thousand people crowding the beach.

Sgt. Randy Bickle, a Sacramento County park ranger, said the gatherings were so small, some park rangers were sent home early.

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“We thought that we would see much larger crowds. I actually had the capability of sending a few rangers home early which is a good thing,” Bickle said.

Those visiting the shoreline Friday stayed in small groups as they practiced social distancing. Bickle hopes people will continue to follow state guidelines.

“Today is surprisingly light and we are very excited about it. It looks like people are taking the governor’s orders seriously and staying in,” he said.

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Beachgoers said they came out to the park to avoid the crowds on the Fourth of July.

“I think this is kind of perfect how everybody has their own section because with the Coronavirus everybody wants to stay safe,” said Veronica Paige.

Javier Barrios was surprised to see the lack of crowds at the start of the holiday weekend.

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“It’s a Friday, it’s Fourth of July weekend and its really slow. There is hardly anybody out here. So, I guess they are paying attention following guidelines,” he said.

Barrios said he plans to avoid the crowds all together tomorrow.
“The wise thing to do is just stay at home,” he said. “I should be at home. I got a little bored but for the weekend I will stay home.”
Sacramento Regional Parks is reminding people to practice social distancing and avoid gathering with people who you do not live with. Alcohol will be banned along the shoreline and on the American River. Fireworks are also banned.
Parking lots could be shut down if the area becomes too overcrowded.

Velena Jones