All parking and admission to any Connecticut state parks will be free this weekend, after an announcement by the governor.
A typical beach day at Hammonasset State Park will cost a fee of $13 with state registration or $22 for people out of state, but on Saturday and Sunday those fees won't apply.
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Connecticut state park system, all state parks and facilities will be free to the public. The announcement was made at Sleeping Giant State Park on Wednesday.
People are being advised to head to the beaches early on Saturday and Sunday because they could reach capacity quickly.
In preparation for the free weekend, Hammonasset park supervisor Henry Alves will be there with the staff early to greet the crowds.
"The beach is in fantastic shape, it's been well attended. We have a full complement of guards, so we're in really good shape this weekend," Alves said.
Big crowds mean big appetites and the beach is also ready for that demand. Ron Saunders, one of Hammonasset's many food vendors, is stocked with plenty of "hotdogs, hamburgers and a lot of seafood."
In addition to Hammonasset, plenty of other Connecticut state parks and facilities will be open and free to the public.
There will be a free reptile show on Sunday at Stratton Brook in Simsbury, free tours at Waterford's Mansion at Harkness, Avon's Heublein Tower, and Gilette Castle among the many tours being offered for free. Hampton will be hosting free craft and nature programs at the Goodwin Conservation Center, as well as free admission to Dinosaur State Park in Rocky Hill.
For more information, a full list of the state parks and top 10 places to go, click here.
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