How to save yourself from drowning
For all the hot dogs, car shows and Madison Bumgarner sightings at Raley Field that Memorial Day weekend will bring, other activities related to heat, travel and spending are best left for another time.
Sacramentans would be wise to avoid these five things over Memorial Day weekend:
1. Driving to Lake Tahoe during peak travel hours. It's too early for prime summer days at the lake and too late to ski at any resort except Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows. Crowds flocking to Tahoe for the long weekends will likely be met with wet mountain roads and nasty traffic Friday before high temperatures reach into the mid-50s Saturday and mid-60s Sunday and Monday ... right when Highway 50 and Interstate 80 clog again as people return home.
2. Buying electronics. NerdWallet and Marketwatch both recommend holding out for better deals on laptops, TVs and other home electronics than you'll find in May. Online retailers typically put out their best deals at the end of the year, though some such as Amazon and Best Buy have advertised July 4 sales comparable to their Black Friday discounts.
3. Expecting to hear jazz in Old Sacramento. The people behind the Sacramento Music Festival (formerly known as the Sacramento Jazz Jubilee) announced they had run out of funds in December, marking the attention of a 44-year tradition that attracted 85,000 people in its heyday. Old Sacramento will instead host 12 cover bands for a weekend bash called Echo Fest, with tickets available online for $28 per day or $48 for both Saturday and Sunday.
4. Leaving the life vest at home. Memorial Day weekend marks the unofficial start of summer, and the National Weather Service is predicting highs in the upper 80s Sunday and low 90s Monday and Tuesday. That ideal boating weather comes with serious risk, though, as evidenced by the five victims who drowned over three weeks near the Sacramento and American rivers' confluence in summer 2015. The Sacramento County Regional Parks Department advises that people wear life vests, stay out of deep water and watch our for hazards such as rocks and branches.
5. Forgetting what the day is really about. Memorial Day was founded as a way to remember service members who died in combat. That means people shouldn't choose the holiday to thank active military personnel for their service, or worse, wish veterans a "Happy Memorial Day," according to the armed services publication Military1.
Benjy Egel: (916) 321-1052, @BenjyEgel