ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - The threat of a Minnesota government shutdown is prompting officials to close state parks just ahead of the busy Fourth of July weekend.

State park officials Thursday began warning campers to pack their gear and leave well before the midnight deadline for a government shutdown. They say it would be too difficult to herd campers out in the middle of the night if talks failed.

In north-central Minnesota, Crow Wing State Park is usually teeming with visitors over the Fourth of July weekend. But not this year.

Joan Olson of Upsala and her husband had planned to spend the holiday weekend camping in Crow Wing State Park, but with the park closing they will likely just head home. She tells the Brainerd Dispatchthe park closing "just makes me mad."

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