SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - For many, this weekend is he first weekend getting out and about during the coronavirus pandemic.
Those we spoke to say this has been the busiest Friday night they’ve seen in weeks, and that’s not surprising with it being the first night of a holiday weekend.
Now two weeks since Georgia’s re-opening, many of the people we spoke with say they’re very comfortable being out again and happy to see others are too.
Joe Davidson and his wife aren’t strangers to Savannah. After a dozen or so visits to the Hostess City, they’ve got it down to a science.
“We hit all the sights. We go to River Street. We go to Goose Feathers, we like eating breakfast there.”
But Joe will admit, the trip down I-16 for this Memorial Day weekend felt different.
“We didn’t know what to expect. Didn’t know if we expected to come in, see everyone with masks on, walking around.”
Joe and his wife weren’t the only folks in Ellis Square Friday night getting a head start on their Memorial Day celebrations. Despite the heaviest downtown crowd in a few months, Joe say he hasn’t felt uncomfortable yet.
“Everybody’s separating themselves. All the businesses are great. When you go in, they’re doing a good job. We’re real at ease here.”
That was the common thought among most folks at Ellis Square. Many were happy to see more of the downtown crowd Savannah is used to seeing on a Friday night.
“This is what we need. Very happy to see this. Nobody is being weird. Everybody is behaving.”
Downtown businesses like B&D Burgers were back to their busy Fridays, and that was exactly what the hometown folks who ventured downtown wanted to see.
“We need people out, patronizing. It’s actually really refreshing to see this many people down here tonight," said Savannah resident Eric Darrow.
Davidson says now that his family has been out tonight, they’re feeling good about the rest of their weekend. That means getting back to the trip they always enjoy taking.
“We’re going to Tybee tomorrow. We like to eat at the Crab Shack while we’re out there. And then we walk around.”
We saw all types out there Friday night - locals, out of towners, couples, families, young and old.
But one group you shouldn’t expect to see in downtown Savannah any time soon - soldiers based at Fort Stewart or Hunter Army Airfield, as the Army attempts to keep it’s troops as safe as possible.
We’ve learned the bases have made downtown Savannah off limits to all it’s soldiers, as well as a number of other metro areas - Atlanta, Jacksonville, Charleston, and Augusta.