By Elly Cosgrove | May 29, 2021 at 12:05 AM EDT – Updated May 29 at 12:09 AM
Lots of locals and people visiting from out of town were out enjoying some of the area beaches Friday night to kick off the long weekend. If you took a walk down Lumina Avenue you’d see long lines for the Wrightsville Beach bars.
Two bar goers said it was their first big night out really since the pandemic began.
“Freedom. Only one word you could say is freedom. It’s amazing. We’re loving it, loving life. This is incredible,” they said. “It feels like Christmas, you know? We haven’t seen our friends in so long and it just feels so good to get back out and see everyone again without a mask on and everything.”
Down at the Carolina Beach Boardwalk, the party lights maybe not as bright Friday as they could have been since the amusement rides are not open yet. The rides typically open for memorial day weekend.
There is no official word yet on why the rides aren’t up and running, but many speculate it’s because there was a delay in putting them together and the state has not had a chance to inspect the rides yet.
Regardless, that did not stop people from enjoying an evening on the Boardwalk to start the Memorial Day Weekend.
One business owner said there is a lot of anticipation for the amusement rides.
“It just brings more of a family-friendly vibe to the boardwalk,” said Chad Davis, owner of Carolina Surf Brand. “There’s just much more for the kids to do. The parents are having fun, the kids are having fun. Even though it’s a lot of fun without it, I think it definitely adds a ton of attraction to Carolina beach.”
The activity tonight is a sign that things are continuing to slowly return to normal as the economy opens back up and local businesses get a much needed boost following a year of pandemic closures.
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