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Central Coast beachgoers celebrate Fourth of July despite firework cancellations, pandemic restrictions

Posted at 8:21 PM, Jul 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-04 23:46:39-04

Pismo Beach is a prime destination for Fourth of July celebrations, but authorities say crowds were smaller this year than compared to years past due to the pandemic

With beaches closed to the north and south of San Luis Obispo County, many people came to the Central Coast to celebrate while social distancing.

Chief Jake Miller of the Pismo Beach Police Department said he was surprised by the crowd turnout, noting it was smaller than previous Independence Day holidays.

"Folks are on the beach, they're separated if they’re not knowing each other, and were reminding people to wear their masks and its all going really well," Chief Miller said.

Pismo Beach Police fully deploy officers for the holiday, but Chief Miller said the department was able to scale back on resources during the day.

While Fourth of July firework shows cancelled, many people said they found other ways to celebrate the holiday season.

"Fourth of July is Fourth of July so you make it your own kind of fun," said Claire Ramirez a Washington D.C. resident.

Tyler Lamica traveled all the way from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to be with his family this Independence Day weekend.

“Well last year we did Cayucos up a little north, my family is down from Lompoc," Lamica said. "I wanted to get out here and boogie board with the family.”

Brothers Blake and Logan Levitt also came to the Central Coast to escape the heat in their hometowns of Tucson and Las Vegas.

Logan said he feels social distancing guidelines are important, but something most people are already accustomed to practicing when headed to the water.

"Usually when you go to the beach, you kind of stay away from people, we don’t really like to go and be right next to people at the beach," Logan said.

Pismo Beach police officers are planning to have extra patrol Saturday night for illegal fireworks.

"We appreciate the fact that the amount of people we thought may show up here did not, so we’re glad to see that and we hope everyone stays well," Chief Miller said.