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San Diegans Attend Memorial Day Tributes And Beach Picnics

L to R, George Biles, Ernest McCullough, William Tisch, Tom Kubow, of the Sons of the American Revolution, Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery, May 26, 2014.

Thousands of people across San Diego County, home to one of the nation’s largest concentrations of military, marked Memorial Day at commemorative ceremonies and events to honor those who died while serving America.

Others spent the day at beaches and parks with family and friends to kick off the unofficial start of summer, under sunny skies and temperatures in the 70s and 80s.

Lifeguards were prepared for the influx of beachgoers and had extra staff on hand, according to Del Mar lifeguard Johnny Sieber.

"There's a lot of people, but pretty smooth sailing,'' Sieber said. "Typical Memorial Day for us.''

No significant incidents were reported, he said.

South County beachgoers may have been out on the coastline this weekend for another reason -- the dead whale that washed up about a mile north of the U.S.-Mexico Border.

L to R, Jacquelin Herrera, Sindy Ramos and Jacquelin Pena of San Diego at Mission Bay, Memorial Day, May 26, 2014.

The Auto Club of Southern California was expecting 2.66 million people in Southern California to travel Memorial Day weekend, with San Diego being one of the top destinations.

Some visitors were drawn to the region for its new attractions, including Tull Family Tiger Trail at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. The 5.2-acre exhibit features six Sumatran tigers in a forested habitat with ponds for swimming and rocks for climbing.

Aquatica SeaWorld San Diego opened this weekend, debuting it’s new Taumata Racer that zooms riders down a 375-foot slide, around a 180-degree swooping turn, and in and out of tunnels before racing them across the finish line.

“Legends of Chima" waterpark at Legoland California also opened, and features three acres of wet play areas for children. The facility's second water park features a 250,000-gallon wave pool, a lion arch created out of 260,000 Lego bricks and a slide through the jaws of a massive Lego crocodile.

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