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Despite cancellation of celebration events, St. George expecting record crowds for holiday weekend

Published: Jun. 29, 2020 at 4:40 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 29, 2020 at 4:41 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - The 4th of July holiday is already here in Franklin County; beaches are full at St. George Island, and so are vacation rentals.

It’s one of the busiest weekends on the island every year.

Despite several counties across the state closing beaches for the holiday, Franklin County law enforcement says this year, it’ll be “business as usual.”

“Everything that’s rentable is rented,” said Alice Collins with Collins Vacation Rentals. “There is no place anyone can come and find a place to stay.”

Collins says with the Fourth landing on a Saturday, they expect larger-than-normal crowds, despite events, like the parade and fireworks, being canceled.

“None of us want to promote something that’s going to bring crowds that are not going to distance themselves the way that they should,” Collins added.

Days ahead of the holiday, beach chairs are already in the sand.

“The rules have changed a little bit because crowds can be bigger, but still, they’re asking people to social distance, which I think is a great idea,” Franklin County Sheriff AJ Smith said.

Sheriff Smith adds that, since it’s no longer a state-mandate, law enforcement will not be enforcing social distancing or wearing masks, but they are asking people to stay smart.

“As you can see from the beach, there’s a lot of people here, but they are outside so that’s a good thing,” he said. “You see the wind’s blowing. Hopefully, folks will social distance and just be smart.”

Sheriff Smith says they’ve seen record-breaking days at the beaches ever since they opened back up. He expects that to stay the same on Saturday.

He adds one thing to keep in mind; parking, which has been an issue. Sheriff Smith says deputies will be out enforcing illegal parking.

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