JONES BEACH, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — It is shaping up as a Memorial Day weekend like no other.
The traditions of years’ past looked a lot different Sunday. Cooler weather helped keep crowd sizes small on newly-reopened beaches, as people tried to get a first taste of summer, CBS2’s Dave Carlin reported.
When the necessary beachwear includes a jacket or sweatshirt, some people tend to stay away. Jones Beach was manageable for the extra workers assigned on Sunday and they were glad for that.
“If the weather was better I’m sure we’d have quite a turnout,” one worker said.
His job overseeing one of several hand sanitizing stations was lonely. Kaitlyn Albrecht of Seaford was among very few takers.
“There are not as many people as I thought there would be,” Albrecht said.
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The view from Chopper 2 showed available sand everywhere and almost nobody braving dips in the ocean.
The parking lots are set up to enforce 50% capacity, with cones in every other space.
“They have sanitizer, they have the cones. They are doing all they can, so I think it’s really good,” said Sonia Crittenden of Freeport.
Crittenden and her friends did not linger on the chilly beach, but were glad they stopped by. Jackie Reid of Baldwin said she needed to feel the sand between her toes.
“The sand is nice and cool and I love it. It’s just great being out here instead of being locked in the house all the time,” Reid said.
Also making a brief appearance at Jones Beach on Sunday was Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
“We have not reached 50% of max, so no one has been turned away. But as the weather gets warmer, I expect more people will come,” Cuomo said.
Cuomo held his daily briefing just steps away from the deserted theater, which under normal circumstances would be ready to start rocking.
But for now there’s nothing but silence.
Also different this year was not having an air show. COVID-19 forced it from Jones Beach, but it did not vanish completely, thanks to the first Bethpage Virtual Air Show taking off online.
Judging by the sparse conditions the beach is not exactly back yet, but workers said they’ll be ready when the lively summer days come.