Crowds return to Tybee Island for Memorial Day Weekend

Updated: May. 29, 2021 at 11:03 PM EDT
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TYBEE ISLAND, Ga. (WTOC) - Memorial Day Weekend brought tens of thousands of tourists to the Savannah area, especially Tybee Island. The crowds on Saturday offered a stark contrast to last year, when the COVID-19 pandemic continued to build.

Memorial Day Weekend traditionally kicks off the summer season. Regulars here on Tybee Island told WTOC the crowds they’ve seen on Saturday look more like holiday weekends before pre-COVID.

The streams of people were steady going to and from the beach. Some came for the day, while others will be here for the weekend. For some, it’s a tradition.

“I’ve been coming here pretty much my whole life. And this is probably the busiest I’ve seen it in years,” said Stephanie Crews, visiting from Flowery Branch, Ga.

That tradition was interrupted for many last year during lockdowns. Fast forward one year, and people walked to gift shops and restaurants like usual.

“Last year, it seemed there was no activity,” said Jerry Watts, who works at The Sand Bar.

Along Butler Avenue, cones in the street helped direct traffic. Watts and others who work for local businesses are glad there’s traffic to direct this year. On the beach, some still seemed to distance themselves from other families.

“A lot of people are taking better precautions, getting vaccines, wearing masks when needed. But basically we’re trying to get back to normal. We got to do what we got to do to be normal,” said Monique Williams, visiting from Brooklyn, NY.

Businesses on Tybee rely on the summer season to make most of their money for the year and say they’re ready for business as usual again.

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