By DENISE HERSCHEL
It’s been a long time coming and now it’s beginning to look a lot like the Fourth of July weekend as Americans are gearing up for the patriotic holiday complete with backyard barbeques and hometown parades. And after more than a year and a half of pandemic restrictions, which have recently been lifted, people are more than ready to get back to life as we knew it before March of 2020.
Neptune resident Hoa Tran is looking forward to spending time with loved ones this Fourth of July. She said that life is beginning “to look a little more normal” so her family plans on going to her husband’s sister’s home in Allenhurst.
“We will have some drinks and food and I will be bringing our food from Vietnam that I make. They love it and always ask for me to have it at family gatherings. We might be going to see fireworks on the beach. Last year we didn’t really do anything; just stayed home. There were just no memories there,” she said.
Ocean Grove resident Laura Myers, who lives some blocks from the beach, said that her plan for this upcoming weekend is “not to move my car because I will lose my parking spot.”
“Parking is terrible here so I will probably just have some friends over for a cookout and go to the beach. I also want to go to the Fourth of July parade in Ocean Grove. And maybe to watch fireworks, depending on where they will be having them,” she added.
Myers said last year she did not go anywhere for the holiday, just stayed home and read some books from the Neptune Library where she works.
Ocean Township resident Linda Keane intends on spending time in her garden this holiday weekend. She said that she did the same thing last year during the height of the pandemic but loves being in her garden when she has the chance.
“I will do some planting and weeding. I keep it simple for the Fourth. My husband will probably be at the gym that day. And my son wants to barbeque on the grill but we don’t have one,” she laughed.
Shark River Hills resident Melody Levinore said that she will not be doing much leisure time during the holiday because of her work schedule at Playa Bowls.
“I will be working and then my family will maybe go to my grandmother’s house in Avon for dinner. Last year because of COVID we didn’t do anything. I just worked at mini-golf in Belmar and saw people lighting off their own fireworks off the Belmar Marina,” she continued.
Marge Edelson of Ocean Township is excited to see her children and her grandchildren this Sunday. Like most people, she spent last year’s Fourth of July at home.
“This year’s holiday will be a special one because we can spend it together. We will probably barbeque and enjoy each other’s company,” she added.
Bradley Beach resident Marissa Jonas is hoping to head with her kids to Great Adventure in Jackson. She said that last year was “such a depressing one” so everyone is happy to do something they normally love to do during the summer.
“We plan on going to Great Adventure as much as we can this summer. We also are having a barbeque this weekend with a handful of people,” she said. “It’s great to be able to socialize again, relax and just have some fun!”