After a year of restrictions, Kansas City area families flock to lakes for Fourth of July

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HARRISONVILLE, Mo. — Summertime holidays call for travel.

For thousands of people in the Kansas City metro, that means spending time on various lakes, including Lake of the Ozarks. Lakes everywhere are filled with families who want to float.

Outdoor enthusiasts and family boaters have found their holiday weekend. Many of them will travel long distances from the Kansas City metro, spending their savings on family vacations they’ve been awaiting for months.

Sapp Bros convenience store in Harrisonville is a popular stopover for people headed toward Table Rock Lake. It’s a good spot for travelers to fill their gas tanks and coolers.

“We have two kayaks, tents, all the stuff to go camping,” said Tim Vaughan, a traveler headed from Tonganoxie, Kansas, to Bennett Springs, Missouri.

“We’re so glad everybody is able to get out and about again,” said Jayne Sosa, a lake enthusiast from Kansas City’s Northland.

Many of the lake-goers FOX4 spoke with Friday said they were thankful for this return to normalcy. COVID-19 restrictions prevented many boaters from gathering in large groups last summer.

Excitement was hard to miss at Longview Lake near Lee’s Summit as well. That lake, which is managed by Jackson County Parks and Rec, was busy Friday and expected to be even busier on Saturday, Sunday and even Monday.

“It’s being out with friends again. It’s being out with everybody in public and being close and not having masks on, being safe about it still. I’ve missed everybody, It’s fun to be out here again,” said Kari McEnaney, who attended a birthday party on the lake Friday.

A spokesperson for Jackson County Parks and Rec said they’re fresh out of rental boats and campground space for the weekend. However, as of Friday, rental boats are still available at the two marinas supervised by Johnson County Parks and Rec in Kansas. 

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