Summer’s Swan Song With Sun, Surf, State Fairs
Undated (AP) _ Sun, surf, state fairs, crab races and picnics filled the long Labor Day weekend, summer’s last big blast, but unseasonably cool weather across the East on Sunday held down beach attendance.
Police across the nation mounted special efforts to reduce traffic fatalities during the holiday weekend. In California, 12 of the first 14 people killed on the highway weren’t wearing seatbelts, the Highway Patrol said.
At a surfing contest in Huntington Beach, Calif., at least 100 teen-agers went on rampage, setting two cars on fire, after police arrested six women who took their clothes off, officials said.
More than 400 people showed up for a free Sunday picnic sponsored in Albany, N.Y., by a group of neighbors who invited the poor, the elderly and ″all of Albany,″ said Roland Bennett, one of the organizers. The picnic was ″especially for those who cannot afford a cookout,″ he said.
Bennett said many welfare recipients would not receive their checks until after the weekend. ″They can’t have a picnic, they have to go out and buy school clothes,″ he said. ″I don’t want to see them sit back and have no picnic at all.″
The Ku Klux Klan continued a two-day rally Sunday near East Windsor, Conn., with no major incidents or confrontations, state police said. Less than 50 members of the white supremacist organization were outnumbered by police when they burned a 25-foot cross Saturday.
Milwaukee hosted Soberfest for people who want to have a good time without having a drink. Several hundred people turned out on the first day of the three-day event Saturday. The Greater Milwaukee Alcoholics Anonymous Council predicted that dances, lectures and concerts around the city would draw 5,000 people.
″We wanted to have something to show folks that alcoholics aren’t sitting in a corner waiting to die,″ said Lou L., executive director of the Milwaukee Alcoholics Anonymous central office. He did not give his last name in keeping with AA traditions of anonymity.
The New York State Fair continued its 11-day run Sunday at Syracuse. Fair spokesman Joe LaGuardia said that through Saturday, attendance in the first nine days totaled 626,510, more than 25,000 ahead of last year’s crowd.
About a dozen professional boomerang throwers, many wearing T-shirts reading ″Many Happy Returns,″ competed in Palenville, N.Y., about 30 miles south of Albany in the last U.S. Boomerang Association Tournament of the season.
While summer activities were drawing to a close, it was still too early for cool air blanketing much of the East. Baltimore had its fourth consecutive day of record low temperatures, with a low of 49, and records also were tied or broken at Atlanta, 55; Macon, Ga., 59; Mansfield, Ohio, 46; Monroe, La., 60; Pensacola, Fla., 64; and Shreveport, La., 60.
The chill chased some people inland from Maryland’s beaches. New Jersey police said beach-bound traffic there also was down, but the blue skies and low heat attracted thousands to community activities across the state, organizers said.
″It’s very, very quiet,″ said Linda Byers of the Beach Control in Seaside Heights, N.J., where the beach crowd numbered only 802 people.
Maryland’s mountainous Garrett County had its earliest frost in four years, damaging corn that was nearing maturity, said extension agent James Simms.
The cool air didn’t slow down about 2,000 people who attended the 39th annual Hard Crab Derby and Fair at Crisfield, Md. The Governor’s Cup crab race was won Saturday by a Chesapeake Bay blue crab selected to represent Connecticut; organizers forgot to pick a crab to represent Maryland. Joyce Fitchett of Crisfield won the crab-picking contest for the second year in a row by extracting 4.26 pounds of meat in 15 minutes.
On Monday, 71-year-old marathon swimmer Steve Wozniak of Buffalo, N.Y., will begin a 10-mile swim in the city’s harbor on cool Lake Erie - with his feet tied together.
Greater Buffalo International Airport plans Monday to mark the first landing of a Concorde supersonic airliner there, which is scheduled to arrive around 9:40 a.m. after a flight from London and New York City.
Water-based activities also were big in the West, where an estimated 600,000 people crowded southern California beaches Saturday, but were greeted by waves up to 8 feet that made swimming hazardous.
″The waves are pounding pretty hard,″ said lifeguard Lt. Roger Smith at Zuma Beach, where Malibu’s 3rd Annual Skimboard Championships were held. ″No one’s broken their neck yet.″
At the Op Pro Surfing Championships at the Huntington Beach Pier, at least 100 youths went on a rampage, torching a police car and a lifeguard Jeep, after six girls who took their clothes off behind bleachers were arrested, officials said. An Orange County sheriff’s deputy was injured, but his condition was not immediately available.
Some 25,000 people attended the event, which began Tuesday and ended Sunday.
Elsewhere in southern California, a four-day gospel music festival to honor the late singer Mahalia Jackson brought thousands to MacArthur Park in Los Angeles, the 37th annual Greek Festival was under way in Long Beach, and preparations were made for Monday’s celebrity-studded Malibu Chili Cookoff.
In New York City, Cardinal John O’Connor said Sunday in a statement that the Roman Catholic Church has defended the rights of workers for almost a century, but outside St. Patrick’s Cathedral parochial school teachers protested low salaries and their expired contracts.
Mary Miller, an eighth-grade teacher at the church’s St. Augustine School in New City, held a sign that read ″Top salary $16,000. Support Us 3/8″