POINT PLEASANT BEACH, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — One of the Jersey Shore’s popular amusement parks is officially open this weekend, and visitors had the perfect weather to celebrate.
New Jerseyans got a taste of summer in March. After a long winter, it couldn’t come soon enough.READ MORE: Judge Lifts Temporary Pause On Vaccine Mandate For NYC Teachers And Other City Workers, Who Now Must Be Vaccinated By Monday
“I like the one where you drop really fast,” one child said.
The rides, games and food are welcome after what felt like a long winter.
“It was a brutal winter, and it’s just such a relief to be outside in the sunshine and seeing the ocean. It just makes you feel good,” Rutherford resident Erin Tiffner told CBS2’s Nick Caloway.
The warm weather brought huge crowds to Jenkinson’s Boardwalk.
Still, the pandemic remains a fact of life. Social distancing and masks are still required, and employees are wiping down rides often, but vacationers and employees at the boardwalk are hoping the upcoming summer is a bit more normal than last year.
“I feel pretty normal right now, what’s going on. Everybody is walking around, comfortable, having fun,” Old Bridge resident Kirk Astarita said.READ MORE: 'I Want A Proper Education': Some NYC Public School Students With Medical Exemptions From In-Person Instruction Feel They're Falling Behind
“It’s great to be back outside. Summer is here. Let’s get the boats, the Jet Skis and the kayaks and get ready to go,” Weehawken resident Jay Badame said.
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“Last year was really hectic and scary,” boardwalk employee Haley Hiller said.
“Not so much this year?” Caloway asked.
“Not so much this year. I feel much more comfortable,” Hiller said.
Last summer, the boardwalk and amusement park did reopen eventually, but it was a late start thanks to the pandemic.
This year, there is reason to be optimistic about business.MORE NEWS: MTA To Start Issuing $50 Fines To Riders Not Wearing Masks
CBS2’s Nick Caloway contributed to this report.