Independence Day

Cape Cod Beaches Crowded as Mass. Celebrates July Fourth Weekend Amid Pandemic

Traffic was backed up for several miles near the Bourne Bridge on Friday as thousands raced to the Cape for a holiday weekend getaway. 

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Despite an overcast day with temperatures in the 70s, several Cape Cod beaches and restaurants were busy on Friday, the day before the July Fourth holiday that falls in the middle of a pandemic. 

“I think, for the most part, everybody’s doing their part, staying responsible, wearing masks and everything,” said Matthew Anania, of West Haven, Connecticut. 

But both Falmouth and Bristol beaches were crowded, with many people ditching face masks and ignoring social distancing guidelines altogether. 

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Traffic was also backed up Friday for several miles near the Bourne Bridge as thousands raced to the Cape for a holiday weekend getaway. 

“It’s nice to be out of the house,” said Patti Gardella, of Milford. “We’re just hoping that we can put this [the pandemic] behind us soon.”

It's definitely an Independence Day unlike any other. But for the most part, people seem to get it.

Last year, half a million people jammed Boston's Esplanade for the Fourth of July concert and fireworks, but we just can't do that in the age of COVID-19.

Not this year, anyway. No fireworks. No parades as America combats the coronavirus.

In Burlington, the celebration is a favorite, and with it cancelled, people are disappointed.

"I walk the parade route with my colleagues on the board of selectmen and I get to see all the folks along the way especially the young kids. Very exciting for them. Yeah, we're going to miss it," Parade Chair Mike Runyan said.

"But it was to be expected. So many things have been cancelled," said Sandra Volteru. "When Boston cancels things we assume we're gonna cancel, too."

"This is the first year I thought he might be seeing the parade and the fireworks and all that," said Guru Krishnamoorthi of Woburn. "Probably next year we might have a bigger one."

"That is a great idea," Sarah Ibbet said. "Certainly, that would be great. Something to look forward to.” 

Volteru agrees.

“It would be nice but, who knows? We don’t know," she said. "We have to play it by ear, unfortunately. It’s day by day. Everything changes. Right now with everything happening around the country... the increasing infections that we hope it doesn’t come to Massachusetts. We’ve been doing so well.”

She's right, but Runyan says next year's parade in Burlington could be bigger. If some Massachusetts towns don't hold parades next year, he could see adding bands and marchers to Burlington's.

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