It's the weekend so many people have been waiting for – and they’re not wasting any time getting out to the coastal areas to celebrate.
Fiesta Island reached full capacity by 3 p.m., but that's not the only place people flocked to in San Diego this holiday weekend.
Locals and tourists on Oceanside Pier didn’t let Saturday afternoon’s cloudy weather get in the way of their plans.
“It’s kind of cloudy, we wish it was a bit more sunny,” said Estrella Montoya, who is visiting San Diego from New Mexico. “This summer is such a big important deal to come here and not have to wear masks and not have to worry.”
She’s spending this Fourth of July weekend much differently than last.
“We just watched the fireworks at home,” she said. “Last summer we didn’t travel at all, we didn’t go anywhere.”
If you didn’t know any better, you may think it was a scene from before the pandemic – as thousands enjoyed the weekend along the water’s edge free from COVID-19 restrictions.
“It’s actually really crazy seeing everybody back without masks,” said Isaiah Lopez, in town for Marine Corps training. “It’s a change that we needed.”
It’s the first major holiday since June 15, when California fully reopened and dropped the state’s tier system.
People say after a challenging year and a half, they’re celebrating more than just America’s independence this weekend.
“It’s a new beginning,” said Oceanside resident Doug Feafel. “Everyone is over it and they’re excited about the future… It’s exciting to be out.”
With San Diego County now fully reopened, many communities are bringing back their Fourth of July fireworks shows --The City of Oceanside ringing in the Fourth a day early with a major display to commemorate its 133rd anniversary and the national holiday.
The city’s fireworks show -- just a preview of what people should expect to see Sunday, as dozens of events are planned across the county.