In the last hurrah of summer before school starts and autumn creeps in, there was sun, there were people and there were firsts on Labor Day Monday at Sylvan Beach.

SYLVAN BEACH — In the last hurrah of summer before school starts and autumn creeps in, there was sun, there were people and there were firsts on Labor Day at Sylvan Beach.

All within the healthy crowd Monday, beach eateries kept up their steady pace amid the usual hubbub, amusement staff kept the area swept, kids still screamed on the roller-coaster and the smell of fried dough hung heavy in the air.

Among the crowd, first-time beach-goers, 1-year-old Raelyn Hampel dug  in the sand with her friends, 1-year-old twins Charlee and Jemma Rider, all from Poland.

"This is their first venture out on the beach," said Raelyn's mom, Shawna Rickard, as the girls sat in a half circle in the sand, surveying the scene in between shade timeouts and ice water drinking.

For the two families it was the perfect day to go to the beach. Not too hot.

"We thought now would be a good time to go to the beach," said the twins' mother, Kelly Rider. "Before they were too young."

Rider said that the water at the beach on Oneida Lake always is warm, which was a good thing for kids to splash in.

Plus, it gave the kids a great chance to play with each other. 

"They will all go to school together," Kelly Rider added.

Around the same time, on the break-wall, Westmoreland resident Musa Alam was enjoying fishing with his family.

Alam said he was new to the area, having moved here from Indianapolis at the tail end of winter. Since then he has been "taking in the sites" — Verona Beach, Delta Lake and Niagara Falls.

He also never fished before moving to New York.

"I just started. I just picked it up," he said while baiting his hook with a worm. "It's nice and quiet here. An easy life."

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