By Michael Abeyta

DENVER (CBS4) – The Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial start of summer and without last year’s COVID-19 restrictions, a lot of people might be out celebrating. That’s why the City of Denver is asking people who choose to spend their holiday weekend outdoors at their parks to remember their manners.

“When you come out to the parks just understand that these are the people’s parks,” says Scott Gilmore, the Deputy Executive Director of Parks and Recreation.

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That means clean up after yourself. If you are hiking, stay on the trails and respect nature and follow the rules with dogs. Pick up after them and keep them on a leash.

“If we catch you with your dog off-leash, it’s a $100 fine,” says Gilmore.

If Mother Nature isn’t your forte, there are always the various amusement parks around town. Water World is opening for the season Saturday. Elitch Gardens has already opened, but will open its water park this weekend.

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“This is kind of the unofficial start of summer this weekend,” says Jolie DuBois with Elitch Gardens. “It’s just so exciting to be back this year after being closed.”

But don’t think it’s a free-for-all. Just like at Denver Parks, the amusement parks have their own guidelines in place to keep guests safe from COVID-19. Elitch’s has optional masking, extra sanitizing and limited capacity.

“Guests can expect a few new guidelines but it’s still the same fun,” says DuBois.

Denver Parks and Rec wants you to remember as well that keeping groups small and recreating with a mask if you are with unvaccinated friends is a good idea.

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“We don’t want people to be gathering in these big groups and feeling like there’s no more COVID-19, because there is,” says Gilmore.

Michael Abeyta