State-run parks filled to capacity as Hudson Valley flocks to beaches for holiday
New York State parks tried to keep people safe this holiday weekend by closing parks when they reached maximum capacity.
On Sunday, some beachgoers were turned away due to capacity limitations in Rockland County.
People were also turned away Monday all in an effort to ensure social distancing and make people feel comfortable.
Officials say that while state parks, beaches and pools were all open, they were only operating at 50% capacity. They closed the gates and block entry once the 50% threshold was reached.
However, the limited capacity didn't hamper families from celebrating the extended Fourth of July holiday.
"I haven't seen my family in almost two years now," said Nelson Sinchi, who came with his family all the way from Chicago to celebrate with relatives. He said they took extra precautions. "We even drove from Chicago to here. Even if people are vaccinated, I still don't feel comfortable taking airplanes," Sinchi said.
A number of families got to Lake Welch Beach in Stony Point bright and early this morning to BBQ, play games, kick around a soccer ball and enjoy being with each other.
"We got the hookah, food, games, whatever. It's just a matter of having fun," said Marvin Dapez, of Bergen County, New Jersey.
Families say being vaccinated against COVID-19 contributed to their stress-free celebration.
"I feel very happy because we got the vaccinate already," said Maria Saquiz, of Lodi, New Jersey.