Fourth of July fireworks, barbecues, beaches and campgrounds: they’re the very essence of summer.
As people flock to Connecticut’s shoreline this weekend, campgrounds at Hammonasset and Rocky Neck are expected to be near capacity, as people celebrate Independence Day.
“Just a lot of good times with your family,” said Bill Deckelman of Portland.
Deckelman and his family have been camping at Rocky Neck for 15 years. They stay in a camper, enjoy cooking out and playing corn hole, a departure from what his kids normally do.
“We try to get them to put down their electronic devices sometime,” Deckelman said with a laugh, “It’s just good family time.”
With the fourth falling on a Thursday, this is essentially a 4-day weekend and people are getting a head start, stocking up with celebratory supplies.
“It’s extremely busy,” says Lynn Kiah, who owns Village Wines and Spirits in Niantic. She said Wednesday is their biggest sales day of the year and their inventory reflects it.
“If you walked in the back room, inventory is shoulder height and we can just about get through,” she says, comparing it to their winter supply that is knee high.
Meanwhile beach goers, especially kids, are ready for a weekend of fun in the sun.
“I like the water so much because on days like this when it’s super hot, the water really cools you down,” said 10 year old Elizabeth D’Agastino of New Britain.
Elizabeth and her twin brother, Sebbe, spent Wednesday at Rocky Neck with their family. Like the campground, the beach was very busy and will only get busier as the holiday weekend nears.
The D’Agastinos don’t mind though.
“You get to spend time with your family,” said Sebbe, who loves the water and sand. “It’s good family bonding.”
For the D’Agastino kids this weekend is about more than just going to the beach. Asked about The Fourth of July, both knew the true meaning and said, without hesitation, “it’s about celebrating America’s birthday.”