Plenty of people will be traveling this holiday weekend to St. Louis, Kansas City, Branson, and among others, Pineville. Residents of this small town are getting ready for this important time not only for business but awareness.
Pineville is gearing-up for a lot of company to come over.
"We get a lot of people from Kansas City, actually. A lot of people from Ft. Smith, Arkansas, and even further down, closer to Little Rock," says Andi Monroe, owner of Kozy Kamp, a campground near Elk River.
There's going to be camping, live music, and hopefully some sunshine, too. But the center of tourism to this area is canoeing, rafting, kayaking, or just plain getting yourself into Elk River.
"This is the busiest weekend of the whole summer," says Monroe.
Being busy can be good or bad, though.
"Want to watch out for any safety deals," says McDonald County Sheriff Mike Hall.
Hall says being mindful of safety isn't only on behalf of his perspective. There were three drownings on Elk River last year.
"We do have snags in the river. Limbs and trees that you may not see," says Hall.
Stay away from those types of debris, because it creates a continuous pull underwater. Hall says one of the deaths last year was because of a strong undercurrent.
"We do provide youth life vests here. That generally is around the age of four or so, whenever our life vests will fit them. So, if you were to bring a child that's younger than that, we do require you do provide a personal flotation device for them," says Monroe.
It's always a good idea to wear a life vest, no matter the age. But workers at Kozy Kamp won't set canoes on their way until every child under the age of seven is wearing a life vest.
Another death last year was because of not enough experience swimming.
There's plenty other safety tips for swimming, but near the top of them all is making sure there's solid judgment.
"In the canoes, there's no intoxication limit," says Hall.
There's no state limit, but there should still be a personal limit.
Residents of Pineville have a saying..
"The river is never perfectly safe. It is a river," says Monroe.
Be mindful of that this summer.
The McDonald County Sheriff's Office relies on nearby campgrounds to inform people if waters are dangerously high for boating. This weekend, the sheriff's office will have a trailer near Elk River so that officials can more easily respond to emergency calls that might happen.
KOAM - Licensed to Pittsburg, Kansas