People in ENC make the most of long Fourth of July weekend


GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — Many in Greenville got the chance to take one last day to enjoy a long Fourth of July weekend.

It’s back to work for most of us on Tuesday. It was fun while it lasted.

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This weekend was quite a change from a year ago. Not nearly as many of the thousands that took part in Independence Day weekend festivities around Eastern North Carolina got to do the same last year due to the coronavirus pandemic. With restrictions lifted, many vaccinated and despite concerns about the Delta variant of the COVID-19 virus, people continued to make the most of the weekend on Monday before heading back to the grind.

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“Everybody’s moving on with their lives and everything, so we’re not just stuck in one place,” Jeff Kemp said. “We’re just moving forward.”

(Caroline Bowyer, WNCT photo)

From biking to boating to playing on the playground, Town Common was a popular spot for post-July 4th activities.

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“We just playing on the playground and having a good time,” said Lajavein Hardison, who like many children were happy to be back in the swing of things this year after being cooped up inside for so long. “Enjoying the sunny day.”

A day earlier, people enjoyed the food, fun, music and fireworks at Town Common.

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“I saw the Fourth of July fireworks and it was beautiful and we were playing and then we just watched fireworks and had a good time,” Hardison said.

Monday was about fresh air, sunshine and time together with friends and family before returning to work on Tuesday.

“I’m about to do a little bit of fishing today to kind of top off the weekend,” said Kemp.

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Javon Brumsey, the owner of Riverside Recreation, said he’s seen an uptick in business from the holiday at his paddleboat rental business.

“This past Saturday we had our biggest numbers,” Brumsey said. “We had about 25 orders and that’s been the most we’ve had this far.”

Fourth of July celebrated many different ways around ENC

Brumsey was just one of many who said they were happy to see people back on the water.

“Things had kind of changed, and it was like is this going to be the new normal with the pandemic and everything that was going on with the coronavirus, so it’s definitely a great thing to see everything going back to normal,” Brumsey said.

That’s especially true after festivities of the Fourth of July were canceled last year.

“Everything was just like shut down and it was just great to see friends and family all back together again,” Brumsey said. “Ya know things kind of just opened up.”

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