SURF CITY, N.C. (WECT) – Lacy Atkinson owns Island Delights, and like many Surf City business owners, is excited to use this upcoming holiday weekend as an opportunity to rebound after a year like none other.
“We are only open for seven months out of the year so you have to imagine how big the Fourth of July weekend is for us particularly,” said Atkinson.
It’s estimated that over 50,000 people will pack onto Topsail Island this weekend, celebrating the Fourth with families and friends. While town officials welcome the influx of visitors, they say safety is their first priority.
“We stage about three months out an emergency action plan and we stage that with emergency management, our police department and the fire department so that we are ready for several different scenarios,” said Jodi Shepard, who is the Surf City event coordinator.
But even as tourists flock to the island, Surf City’s mayor also wants to cater this weekend’s festivities to those who live in Surf City.
“A lot of our residents who live in this area are military and this is what they’re fighting for, is independence,” said Mayor Doug Medlin.
While there may be bumper to bumper traffic and longer wait times, it’s the key for Surf City businesses to stay alive.
“This year is a complete turnaround,” said Atkinson. “Everybody the traffic, all the houses are booked, nobody can find places to stay — the island is really full of people.”
An island full of people ready to celebrate their new-found freedom on an Independence Day like no other.
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