After a year of confinement, there is added excitement for the return of the July 4 fireworks display from San Francisco this weekend.
The city is rolling out the red carpet, hoping to start emerging from the economic hole created by the pandemic.
The fireworks are back. Some companies say they’ve seen the hike before and after a tough year they’re ready for it.
In San Francisco, tourists arrive. Some for the Fourth of July weekend and some just for the day.
Rob Reid and his loved one were from Seattle.
“We have the impression that normalcy is returning, it’s been too many months of confinement in the house,” he said. They are happy to see the landscape again.
“I booked for the Monterey bus tour tomorrow and we just got back from Alcatraz,” Reid added. They believe the city has done a good job in dealing with the COVID-19 crisis.
It is clear from the growing crowd that others are feeling the same way.
“So the fireworks cruises are full, but it’s usually several months in advance, but we have a lot of things to do during the day.” Said Chris Robbins with Blue and Gold Fleet near Pier 39.
Robbins said closures from the COVID-19 pandemic were difficult. But he also said the recovery was well underway, with visitors starting to come from across the country. “I think summer is going to be a slow, gradual build until summer was here. I think we’re seeing it now and I think we just can’t wait to get back as close to pre-COVID as possible, ”Robbins added.
International and business travel is still light, but hotels say things are picking up speed.
“You know, we’re so excited for this July 4th weekend. It has really increased as we’ve seen the numbers increase over the last few weeks, but particularly for July 4th, ”said Kelly Powers of the San Francisco Hotel Council. “We are probably seeing the highest number since COVID for occupancy especially around the Waterfront.”
In the meantime, as the crowds start to gather, the city also wants to remind people that the pandemic is not over.
“We are proud that 74% of our population has been vaccinated, but we are concerned about the population that is not vaccinated, especially with the delta variant, so she is really urging people to get vaccinated.” said Dr Naveena Bobba, deputy director of the San Francisco Department of Public Health.
Bobba said residents and visitors should follow public health guidelines, including wearing a mask in crowds if you are not vaccinated.