THE BRONX - Orchard Beach marked its 80th anniversary with temperatures in the high-80s on Wednesday.

Although the beach at Pelham Bay Park doesn't officially open until Saturday, people flocked to Orchard Beach as borough officials held a ceremonial opening to mark the 80th year of the beach.

Middle school students and seniors from St. Mary's Recreation Center attended the ceremony. Tracey Morton said it was her first beach senior citizen day, and she enjoyed it.

One woman spoke during the ceremony about fond memories she has of the beach, including time she spent there with her now-deceased grandmother. "Five generations of us have spent summer memories here," she said.

Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. has appropriated $10 million to fix the pavilion of the beach, which first opened in 1936. While more money will be needed for the project, Iris Rodriguez-Rosa, the borough's commissioner for parks, said the funds are a good start.

Park officials said people are welcome to come to the park and play in the sand on the beach, but no one is allowed to swim until lifeguards are on duty on Saturday.