Soaking Up Summer Before School Starts - - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Soaking Up Summer Before School Starts

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Sunday is the last day of the regular summer schedule at the Raging Rivers water park in Mandan.

Monday, the "Back to School" schedule begins, meaning the hours and days it is open will decrease.

For the first time however, the popular water park will be open on more than just weekends until Labor Day.

It will be open the next three days from noon to five.

A good thing because of the heat and this weekend's turnout.

The water park manager says more people were here on Saturday than in any one day the past five years.

Conservatively, he guesses around 1800 people went through the gates.

An energetic group of seniors from BHS tells us why they choose to spend their last days of summer at the water park.

"It's just a great place to come and have fun, I mean look at these slides they're amazing and about the last days of summer."

"Keep summer going here, exactly, we've got two more days, two more days we don't want to go back yet, we're going to come back here probably every single day..."

Visitor numbers are still probably down from last year because there weren't as many hot days this July.

The water park will be open Monday Tuesday and Wednesday this week, from noon to five.

Then open the next two weekends before finishing up the season on Labor Day weekend.

As many students go back to school, a group of parents wants to push the start date back.

Monday, they will announce plans for a statewide initiative that would require North Dakota schools to start after Labor Day.

According to a press release, it is a grassroots effort to gather signatures and put the issue to a vote in November 2014.

Although some schools in the state are already in session, most Bismarck/Mandan schools will start this week.

Some say the temperatures alone should play into school start dates.

"It only starts to get hot in the middle of June, so it makes sense to start after Labor Day so you get the full summer experience." says Joe Berger, lifeguard, UMary student.

"Being an old Minnesota boy I know we didn't start school until after Labor Day and I understand that from a tourism standpoint, so I get that, but my fear is just staff, when you have as many staff members that I have, a good number of them college students that are going to leave before Labor Day." says Reid Katzung, Raging Rivers Manager.

Katzung says they have 105 employees at Raging Rivers, many of whom are high school or college students.

The parents for school after Labor Day will present their case Monday afternoon.

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