(CBS) — Some Chicagoans are starting their holiday weekend off at the beach and parks across the city. CBS 2’s Derrick Blakley spent the afternoon checking in with those folks.

It’s the unofficial start of summer, and for once the weather is actually cooperating.

Chicagoans have suffered plenty of cold and rainy memorial days, but after the long winter, maybe Mother Nature knew we needed a break and we’re finally getting one.

The 63rd street beach is open for business, but business is light. Lifeguards are now on duty, but few swimmers daring to test the chilly waters. At the beach house, the posted water temp was 66, but that may have been optimistic.

Instead, it was a great day for little kids to play in the sand and for grown-ups to soak up the sun, putting frigid memories of winter to rest.

“We’re glad it’s almost June, summer’s upon us, and we’re excited to be out in the sun today to get some vitamin d,” said beach visitor Kelsey Dunstatter.

In short, a perfect day for chilling and grilling. There were no shortage of grillers in Jackson Park. Tracy Woods was doing her grilling in front of her house right along 71st Street, minding those ribs on the weber when not enjoying a book on the porch.

“That’s the best way to do it so you can see what’s going on in the neighborhood,” said Wooods.

At Oak Woods Cemetery, the graves of veterans date all the way back to the Civil War, but many also pay their respects to civilian dead this weekend.
Alice Griffin says she visits the cemetery, “every Memorial Day to visit my mother, my sister, my brother and my nephew.

Of course, many more will be doing the same thing visiting their relatives graves on Memorial Day Monday.

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