SAN MARCOS, Texas (KXAN) - Memorial Day Weekend is the proverbial kick-off to summer, with thousands of people flocking to the water. The city of San Marcos is a popular spot for people to float the river.
"For Memorial Day Weekend, usually it's packed crazy around here," said Janice Filbin, who was at Rio Vista Park in San Marcos Thursday.
The San Marcos River runs through nearly a dozen city parks where some new rules are in place.
You are now not allowed to openly display or consume alcohol in city parks.
"I think it should just be more of, 'If you're intoxicated in public,' rather than getting rid of the alcohol altogether," Filbin said.
Also, Styrofoam, whether it's plates, cups or coolers, is not allowed anymore.
"There are other alternatives, like paper," says Amy Kinder, who was at City Park in San Marcos Thursday. "Anything that can help out the environment and things like that, I'm down for. I don't have a problem buying things other than Styrofoam."
While alcohol on San Marcos park grounds in now prohibited, it's still allowed if you're out in the river. The city says they'll have park rangers out this weekend to help inform visitors.
"Everything will be more of an educational process," said William Ford with San Marcos Parks and Recreation Department. "We're not going to run anybody to jail or run them out of the park."
The city hopes the new rules help keep parks safe, clean, and more family friendly and help preserve its most precious resource, the river itself.
"We're protecting it and doing everything we can to make sure it's here forever," Ford said.
"I do understand the rules and I get where they're coming from," Kinder said. "This is a very rare river and they're trying to keep it pristine."
San Marcos City Council approved these rules a year ago, but they just took effect in January. There is also a ban on smoking and chewing tobacco in play areas and athletic fields.
The move comes after San Marcos' neighbor to the south, New Braunfels, implemented a series of rules to clean up the Comal and Guadalupe rivers.
The rules included a ban on disposable containers and other forms of litter. The "can ban" change was challenged by several companies that run tours on the rivers.
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