Crashing a Fourth of July Party

FRANCES SLOCUM STATE PARK — There’s nothing like a little ambush to start your holiday weekend.

“”Hi there, guys. How are ya?” a Newswatch 16 reporter asked.

“Hi!”

“Happy Fourth of July!”

“Thank you, you too!”

“I came to crash your party.”

These are the Shotwells, six brothers and sisters who organize a family reunion here at Frances Slocum State Park in Luzerne County every Fourth of July, with all the children, grandchildren, and cousins.

“How many people are there here?” we asked.

“Too many. There’s too many people here. I don’t think all the people belong here. They probably just came for some food,” said John Endler, of Plains Township.

And boy, did they get some. There were kabobs, baked ziti, even homemade cracker jacks.

“Oh, that’s good.”

“Take some. Take a handful.”

Nothing, not early mornings or even the threat of rain, could keep the Shotwells from visiting Frances Slocum.

“We had people here waiting for the chains to open to come in, and they were fifth in line. They couldn’t be first. That’s how early people get here to wait for these spots,” said Endler.

“It’s starting to clear off, and actually I like it this way. It’s not as muggy or humid. It’s comfortable,” said Lisa Shotwell, of Courtdale.

The comfortable weather was enough to encourage others to hit up the park for some lake action. Elijah Geise, of Shavertown, kayaked.

“It’s just beautiful, you know? It’s great to have a place like this in your backyard. You can come here anytime and it’s pretty much open to do whatever you want. You can hike, you can fish,” said Elijah Geise, of Shavertown.

Or if you’re like me, you can adopt a new family, and party with the Shotwells.

“Being with the family again. It’s a nice family time to come here,” said Shotwell.

Especially on Independence Day.

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