LAKE JACKSONVILLE, Texas (KETK) – KETK News is highlighting Lake Jacksonville on Wednesday for Small Town Salute Live.

The lake is home to many residents and many people come out to celebrate Independence Day.

Officials say people need to be careful when they come out to have fun on Lake Jacksonville.

“If you don’t know the lake, (I’m) saying the big waters in the lake, don’t try to go off into the coast. Sometimes there’s shallow areas,” said Amanda Bragg, with the Jacksonville Police Department.

People should always have life jackets available if they’re riding a boat, said Bragg.

Neal also spoke with the Jacksonville Mayor Randy Gorham, who said the lake opened up for visitors in 1957. The city’s founding fathers wanted a water source for the town, but it was a controversial issue.

“65 years later, it’s probably the best decision our city fathers have ever done,” said Gorham.

The mayor also said officials have received a $1.2 million grant to improve facilities at the lake.