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Families squeeze in a final weekend of summer fun
Break ends as school starts this week for Hall, Gainesville students
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Trever Beatty, 6, and Conner Beatty, 4, of Gainesville swim in the beach area of Lake Lanier at Vanns Tavern Park on Saturday. The two will be heading back to school this week. - photo by Erin O. Smith

With one final weekend before school starts for most, local youngsters and their parents set out for the lake, the playground and beyond on a sunny Saturday afternoon.

James Benefield and Meagan Fisher of Gainesville took their kids to the lake. They bobbed along on tubes and floats at Vanns Tavern Park near the Hall-Forsyth county line.

Children Travis Benefield, 10, Conner Beatty, 4, and Trever Beatty, 6, seemed to be enjoying themselves.

“Just one more week until school starts,” said James Benefield, whose children attend Gainesville City Schools.

Added Benefield: “We love this park. We like to come here every weekend.”

So does Jennifer Redmon. She brought children Bobby, 15, and Austin Redmon, 11, both of Jackson County, for a dip in the lake on a sunny Saturday.

Others, like Miriam Welling and granddaughter Brylee Welling, sought a park with a stream running through it. The Wellings visited Wilshire Trails Park on Saturday afternoon.

Miriam pushed her granddaughter Brylee in a swing on the playground.

“Can you please push me a little higher?” Brylee asked.

While Brylee doesn’t live in Gainesville (she lives in Milledgeville), her grandmother resides here.

Just across the way at Wilshire Trail, Jessica Lekki and daughter Jade Hutchinson, 3, sat by the stream eating lunch.

“I like walking in the water,” said Hutchinson, who starts preschool later this month.

Gainesville schools kicks off the year on Wednesday. For Hall County students, classes start Friday.

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