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Families beat Labor Day heat at aquatics center

Posted: September 3, 2013 2:00 a.m.
Updated: September 3, 2013 2:00 a.m.

A boy takes a turn on the Ultimate Sidewinder II water slide at the Santa Clarita Aquatics Center as poolgoers swim in the water below.Photo by Charlie Kaijo for The Signal.

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More than 350 people trying to beat the heat made a big splash at the Santa Clarita Aquatics Center on Labor Day, with one Santa Monica family choosing the center over the beach.

“We travelled all the way from Santa Monica to be here,” said mother-of-two Amber Horton. “We’re probably crazy because we live near the beach, but we’ve been here one other time and the kids love it.”

Although Monday’s swim time at the center wasn’t billed as a special Labor Day event, itbecame special for many families lined up waiting to get in for the mere fact that it was open.

“We did hit our maximum capacity of 250 people,” the center’s Program Specialist Stephanie Dunn said Monday,
Before they closed the pool at 5 p.m., more than 350 people — most of them adults with small children — took advantage of the pool.

“That’s pretty high for us on a holiday,” Dunn said, referring to attendance.

For the Horton family, making the 35-mile drive to Santa Clarita was a worthwhile decision.

“We could have stayed in Santa Monica but it’s more crowded there,” Horton said. “It’s clean here and it’s definitely a safe and family-friendly place.”

The pool’s appeal trumped that of the Pacific Beach at Santa Monica for a couple of other reasons, according to her children - Samantha, 7, and Gavin, 4.

“There’s no waves here and . . . there are slides here,” said Samantha.

The Santa Clarita Aquatic Center normally offers three pools to the public, however, its 25-meter dive pool was closed Monday.

Most families, according to Dunn, made a beeline for the shallow pool with its winding slides and umbrella of spouting water.

Temperatures reached 94 degrees Monday, according to the National Weather Service. The heat wave is expected to intensify throughout the week with temperatures climbing each day, with 97 forecast for Tuesday, 100 Wednesday, 103 Thursday and 105 Friday.
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