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Open water: Beach season begins in Coney

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Photo gallery

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Land-locked no more: South Dakotan Shantel Bailey takes a dip in the Atlantic Ocean.
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Here comes the sun: Beach-goers soak up some much-needed sunlight after a long winter and cooler-than-average spring.
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Seat’s taken: These ladies enjoy the views from a lifeguard stand on May 22 — the day before beaches opened and lifeguards returned to their posts.
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Retreat!: The sun was shining, but water temperatures were still in the 50s.
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Ahead of the curve: The beaches were not officially open on May 22, but Brooklynites and tourists were already flocking to the sand and sea in Coney Island.
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Cool runnings: Some cooled off in the water, but these thrill-seekers caught a breeze riding the RaceWay at Luna Park.

Life’s a beach for Brooklynites.

Beach bunnies, hard-bods, tourists, and regular old Brooklynites fed up with an unseasonably chilly spring flocked to Coney Island over Memorial Day weekend for the official opening of the beaches and the unofficial start of summer.

Temperatures topped out around 70 degrees, and the water only hit 56 degrees near the People’s Playground, according to the National Weather Service. But that didn’t deter the more than 350,000 people who descended on the People’s Playground between Saturday and Monday, according to Parks Department figures.

Others who didn’t brave the Atlantic Ocean cooled off in Coney’s amusement district.

Thousands of people passed through Luna Park last weekend. And Deno’s Wonder Wheel celebrated the iconic ride’s 95th birthday on May 25.

Memorial Day was just the tip of the iceberg for the rapidly heating-up Coney Island.

Luna Park is celebrating its fifth anniversary on May 29, the annual Mermaid Parade — which draws millions of people to Sodom by the Sea — is set for June 20, and the Brooklyn Cyclones’ home opener is June 22.

Reach reporter Max Jaeger at mjaeger@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–8303. Follow him on Twitter @JustTheMax.
Updated 5:42 pm, July 9, 2018
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