GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Lifeguards at Briggs Park Pool say they were at full capacity all day Monday. They estimate more than 400 people wrapped up their Fourth of July long holiday weekend at the pool.
Grand Rapids pools have been open for about a month now, after the pandemic closed them for the summer season in 2020.
People at the pool say this weekend, and the last few weeks, have been a breath of fresh air as a sense of normalcy sets in.
"It's great to see people's faces, smiling and actually make eye contact and talk with people," Chris Weemhoff says.
He brought his son Noah and daughter Mia to the pool to beat the heat, and Mia says it was a day of firsts for her.
"We were in the pool playing," she says. "I learned how to go down the water slide by myself."
Soon-to-be sophomores Bryce Swift, Omar Mussa and Keyoni Payne say they were happy to be together again hanging out, after not spending much time together because of the pandemic.
"I'm just relieved because these are my friends from school and we didn't get to see each other since we got shutdown then in eighth grade," Swift says. "It's good that we're all back together now."
For them, the long holiday weekend feels like old times again.
"It feels real good, can't wait for life to get back to normal and hang more," Payne says.
Some parents like Kasey Koch say they had family get-togethers again for the first time in a long time for Independence Day.
"We went Saturday night to a big fireworks show at our friend's (house)," he says. "Yesterday we went to a Fourth of July to Clarksville at a friends house (for a) party there."
Summer days like this at the pool are something he and his son don't want to take for granted again.
"It feels great to be normal again," Koch says.
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