Celebrating at the Lake

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Knoxville (WVLT) Memorial Day weekend often means firing up the grill and breaking out the suntan lotion.

It's among the busiest travel times of the year.

But for some East Tennesseans , the best way to get away isn't to go away at all.

Volunteer TV's Mike McCarthy takes us to Concord Park, where families are getting some R&R without driving too far.

The unofficial start of summer is officially underway with plenty of sun, sand, and splashes marking the occasion.

One local family, the Jones' are ready.

"It's a lot of fun," said Verlie Jones of Knoxville. "All my kids are here and there kids. So it's easier to get together that way. We didn't want to travel."

So Verlie and the family fired up the grill at The Cove.

"There's hot dogs, hamburgers, steaks, sausage, Kielbasi," she said, "just things like that."

For the Jones' its a five-year Memorial Day Weekend tradition, complete with red, white, and blue decorations.

"It's the only time we really have to get together at the same time," Verlie said.

Dozens of other families had the same idea, making it a day for tans, sand castles, family time and memories.

"Me and daddy are playing in the water today," said Grand Crenshaw.

"This is her first real time in the sand," Joy Smith said of her daughter.

"So why not take the three day weekend and get out of town?

Folks who were at The Cove today say it is just as fun and it's closer to home. That means less time on the road, less traffic, and less headaches.

"It's five minutes from home, so it's convenient," Smith said.

"The roads are crazy," according to Becky Crenshaw.

And with gas averaging three bucks a gallon it's also cheaper.

"We do have a trip planned later in the summer and we just can't afford two trips because it's so expensive," Becky said.

Still it's not perfect.

"It's not the ocean," laughed Joy Smith.

But it's all the Jones' need and they know they'll be back.

"If we're all living and safe, we'll be here," Verlie said.

All to keep there family tradition going.

You can catch complete coverage of memorial day events throughout the day tomorrow on Volunteer TV.

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