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Chicagoans Doing All They Can To Beat The Record Heat

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Kids play in a sprinkler at Washington Park on Memorial Day, when temperatures reached as high as 95 degrees in the Chicago area. (Credit: CBS)

Kids play in a sprinkler at Washington Park on Memorial Day, when temperatures reached as high as 95 degrees in the Chicago area. (Credit: CBS)

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CHICAGO (CBS) – Record high temperatures in Chicago on Monday made it another perfect day to be at any of Chicago’s beaches.

CBS 2’s Mai Martinez reports hundreds of people hit the sand at North Avenue Beach early Monday to get a good spot in the sun, and beat any storms headed to the area late Monday afternoon or early Monday evening.

For the most part, Monday was a picture perfect day to be at the beach. The wind did cause the sand to blow around a bit, but most folks didn’t seem to mind as they enjoyed the unofficial start to summer.

It was a great day to break out the bikinis and swim trunks for many at North Avenue Beach. Summer weather is finally here.

“I’m so excited,” said Amanda Lone. “We’ve been waiting for this for a very long time.”

After the record breaking heat this weekend, many beachgoers weren’t taking any chances Monday, packing plenty of water to keep cool, and suntan lotion to avoid a burn.

Jim Schwichtenberg wasn’t sure how strong his sunscreen was, but he wasn’t taking any chances of getting a sunburn.

“I don’t know, probably 90 or something like that. This is the first day I’ve been in the sun,” he said.

Paramedics on bikes were also making the rounds, to make sure anyone who might suffer from heatstroke or dehydration could be tended to quickly.

“So far people are just trying to enjoy themselves and we’re keeping them safe,” one paramedic said.

Meantime, smaller crowds than on Sunday at city beaches made it easier for police to keep an eye on things, and beachgoers didn’t mind the extra space on the sand.

“It’s a beautiful day, glad to be here,” Alan West said.

“This is perfect. If there were more people, it would be too crowded,” Drew Plischke said.

Away from the beaches, while Chicago residents were keeping cool with everything from swimming pools to garden hoses, people were also taking time to remember what Memorial Day is all about.

As CBS 2′s Marissa Bailey reports, while dinner sizzled, the Gilmore family tied up the volleyball net to get ready for a day of family and reflection.

Grandpa Gilmore served in the U.S. Army for 32 years, before he died of a heart attack at just 50 years old.

Memorial Day always means a bit more to the Gilmores.

“Just goodness, good times, and I’m just thinking about my father; because he served for the country many years, and it’s just good to be out here with the family,” Katherine Gilmore said.

The holiday is a family day for the Wardlows, who come to the same spot at Washington Park every year.

“It’s a good chance for us to get together, have camaraderie, and really understand what this day is about,” Dorothy Wardlow said.

“I look forward to having fun with my family, playing with my friends, and all the food and everything here,” Rico Wardlow said.

After a game of soccer, the kids cooled off with squirt guns.

Not far from where the Wardlows had their picnic, sprinklers were cranked up high at the park, keeping the kiddies cool.

And a popped hydrant served as the main source of refreshment for kids on a block of Paulina Avenue on the South Side. A neighbor on Paulina helped open the hydrant to keep cool.

But police reminded city residents on Monday that opening a hydrant without authorization is a crime, and could lead to a charge of reckless conduct. Violators also could be fined $500 to $1,000.

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