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Sprinkles dampen Labor Day weekend fun
Samantha Mosher, center, stays cool with daughter Angelina, right, and family friend Ariana Santa in the Stanislaus River along Salmon Bend Beach as people cooled off at Caswell Park over the Labor Day weekend. - photo by HIME ROMERO

Tommy Nelson thought he was getting himself another wonderful Labor Day.

After all, Sunday made things look that way with its sunshine and it’s typical early September temperatures, so he didn’t think twice when he went to the store, bought some ribs, and planned on grilling them up for the last big weekend holiday of the summer.

The last thing he expected was the rain.

In an unexpected turn, the hot summer conditions that have been cooking the Northern San Joaquin Valley for the last two weeks broke on Monday when clouds rolled in and created early fall-like overcast temperatures with the high peaking at 81 degrees.

Well, at least it seemed that way without the scorching sunlight and the light sprinkles.

As of Monday afternoon traces of rain had accumulated, but the moisture was enough to force Wright to cut back on the number of ribs he had planned on cooking, and throwing a few more hot dogs on the grill instead.

“It’s just been so nice, you kind of expected things to stay the way that they have been,” Nelson said. “But this is kind of nice in its own right. Just not what I expected.”

Popular Manteca spots that are usually bustling when the mercury hovers around the century mark – places that were bursting with people on Saturday – were noticeably less crowded on Monday afternoon.

Not as many cars were packed in at Woodward or Northgate Parks. Playgrounds weren’t overflowing.

Kimberly Greene said that she had already promised to bring her kids down to the interactive water feature at Library Park and didn’t want to disappoint them. Having the place virtually all to themselves, for the amount of time that they were there, was refreshing, she said – when she does get the chance to make it down on weekends during the summer, the place is normally packed.

“It’s the water that they want and not the people, and I think they’d be here if it was snowing,” she said. “They’ll keep themselves entertained. We’ve gotten a few sprinkles, but nothing major and it doesn’t seem like there’s any lighting or anything so I think we’ll be okay.”

According to Accuweather, the temperature will be back up into the high 80s by the middle of the week, and will break the 90s again by Friday.