After a pandemic-induced hiatus last year, the pre-Fourth of July crowds are back. The savory smells of burgers and barbecue are filling the air, and San Diego beaches are once again looking and sounding like they typically do this weekend.
Families are taking advantage of the long weekend to meet with friends and celebrate all the special moments they missed last year.
"Last year we just sat in the sand, by the ocean, just enjoying the waves," said Jean Petion, local resident. "We did not do anything like this."
This year, Petion is starting her weekend with a birthday bash for her 7-year-old son Arden.
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"It kind of makes me feel normal again," said Petion.
The celebration continues through the weekend with a family tradition they get to relive after missing out last year.
"Every year we watch the fireworks of Coronado," said Petion.
She doesn't plan on missing out on the show again.
"I’m definitely looking forward to having the beautful view of fireworks and the dark sky with the bright lights shining," said Petion.
Jocelyn Eisheid, who wass set up with her family across the way from Petion, is also taking advantage of the long weekend to celebrate her son Myle's birthday and spend some quality time with her loved ones.
"It’ll be kind of nice to see the fireworks again and just be on the water again and enjoy some family time," said Eisheid.
A year where more than our country's independence is cause for celebration.
"With the pandemic, you had to be 6 feet apart, you would invite people and they wouldn't even come," said Petion. "But now with the vaccine, you feel much safer to just be out and enjoy."
Enjoying an independence weekend free of COVID-19 restrictions.