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Independence Day at Beltzville State Park

Beltzville State Park and nearby Mauch Chunk Lake both closed at full capacity at 9 am.

LEHIGHTON, Pa. — It was all about the beach and the barbecue this July 4th at Beltzville State Park in Franklin Township, near Lehighton.

"It's a great beach. The water is great. Overall it's a great atmosphere," said Rad Drescik of Pennsburg. 

It was busy, as hundreds came out to enjoy the sunny day at the park. 

But at the main entrance, dozens of people turned away. 

The park reached full capacity early. 

"Staff came in at about 6 a.m., and Pohopoco was already parked full. We had people waiting from about 2, 3 a.m. in the morning they started showing up at the gate," said Ben Monk, Beltzville State Park manager. 

Beltzville State Park and nearby Mauch Chunk Lake both closed at 9 a.m. 

Folks at Beltzville say they were happy they were able to get inside.

"We came here yesterday, actually, and we didn't get in. So today we left at 7 a.m. We got here exactly at 8 a.m.," Drescik said. "We spent probably about half an hour waiting in the line, and we got in, so yeah, we're happy.

"I was in shock, you know. I was like, okay, we're in. But my friend was trying to come here, but she couldn't. She was late for that," said Arlene Diaz from New York. 

Diaz from the Bronx makes this trip to the park every year, leaving home early to get a good spot for the day. 

"That's why we came early because we know like everyone wants to have fun, you know what I'm saying. So we left New York at 4 a.m. in the morning, and we got here at 7:50 a.m. because the traffic was completely full," Diaz said. 

While people say dealing with the traffic can be frustrating, park-goers say it all pays off after a fun day with family and friends.

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