SANTA CRUZ, Calif. (KION) Tourists from around the country flocked to the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk for Memorial Day.
The boardwalk is currently at a capacity of 35 percent, due to current COVID-19 safety restrictions, which is maintained by limiting the number of advanced ride tickets sold and monitoring a headcount on the boardwalk.
Visitors and residents alike came out to the boardwalk with family and friends to celebrate the three day weekend. For many visiting, this is a silver of the way that things once were before pandemic.
"It feels great. Last year was awful, we had to stay indoors and couldn't mingle with anyone, we had to stay away from each other and stay indoors and it was awful," said Jose Zarate, a tourist from San Jose.
The Zarate family came from San Jose to enjoy the cooler weather, but most importantly, emphasize the importance of finally being able to enjoy a day like this with family.
"With the kids especially, they couldn't do much, go to the park, out in the corner, and stuff like that so hopefully nothing gets too worse or as bad as it was," said Aaron Zarate.
Being in quarantine has led to some people forgetting what it means to coexist with strangers.
"It's still such a huge difference. It's so weird being able to stand next to people and touch all the same things that people are touching, so it's a nice change," said Lino Barr, a visitor from San Jose.
A group from Las Vegas also shares about how strange it feels to be out and about but welcome the change.
"In the beginning, we was always out and just walking amongst everybody and now that we've been locked down, it just feels weird to be around people, but we're glad that it's open now," said Dominsca Fisher.
The park is still asking visitors to continue wearing their masks and social distance.