May 19, 2017 10:26 am

London-area campgrounds expecting busy Victoria Day long weekend

Going camping this weekend? Global's Morning News has these tips on getting ready for the long weekend.

Rudi Pawlychyn/Global News

The unofficial kickoff to summer has arrived.

With the forecast calling for sunshine Friday, Saturday and Victoria Day Monday, it’s bound to be a busy long weekend on the roadways, waterways, and at local campgrounds.

MORE: London forecast and radar

Steve Musclow, superintendent with the Fanshawe Conservation Area, said it’s the perfect time to get outdoors and have fun with family and friends.

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“It’s excellent weather for camping, not too hot and not too cold,” he said. “We’ve got quite a few overnight sites with non-hydro that are still available, but our hydro campsites are fully booked. We’re looking forward to a fantastic weekend with canoe rentals, hiking, biking — it’s going to be a lot of fun.”

There are also some non-electric campsites available at Wildwood Conservation Area, but all sites are booked up at Pittock Conservation Area.

READ MORE: London’s spray pads opening for the season over Victoria Day weekend

The holiday weekend activities at Fanshawe Conservation Area will be capped off with one of the largest fireworks displays in southwestern Ontario, which is put on by the Fanshawe Optimist Club.

Musclow said it begins at dusk and costs $20 per car load.

“Of course, there is a rain-check which everybody receives just in case there is the chance for rain, but we’re not anticipating a rain delay this weekend,” Musclow said. “People start coming in anytime after 4 p.m., and my best advice for anyone coming to the display is to arrive early and not leave at the last minute.”

It’s the kind of professional display that the London Fire Department recommends residents enjoy, rather than setting off their own which can lead to serious injuries.

Residents determined to light up some fireworks themselves are urged to follow the instructions carefully, wear protective gloves and eye wear, and only set them off away from combustibles in clear, open spaces.

Light only one firework at a time and only when they are on the ground. Never try to light a firework in your hand or re-light dud fireworks, and always keep a bucket of water handy in case things go awry.

Keep fireworks including sparklers away from young children and pets. According to fire officials, the risk of fireworks injuries for children under 15 is twice as high than the general population.

Victoria Day is one of only two days each year that Londoners are permitted to set off fireworks, with the other being July 1. Residents are only permitted to set off fireworks between dusk and 11 p.m.

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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