HAWLEY, Pa. — Bar seats are taken, masks are off, and social distancing seems not so distant as people sat down to eat, drink and enjoy the long holiday weekend at The Boat House near Hawley.
"We can sense the return to normalcy. Last year there were so many unknowns. We were really lucky to have the house on the lake and just stay there. But now we want to venture out a little more and get back to normalcy," said Patty O'Dell from the Lehigh Valley.
Memorial day weekend is being called the first "post covid" holiday weekend... with loosened mask restrictions for those fully vaccinated.
Ali Simpson is the Assistant Manager at The Boat House. She says usually, the holiday weekend brings in a ton of business.
"Mother's Day, Memorial Day, are crazy until Labor Day. Busy all day, every day. We don't really get a break, but it's nice, especially after last summer we can't wait," said employee Ali Simpson.
On Memorial Day, nearly all business restrictions will be lifted in the commonwealth - allowing restaurants, bars, stores, and gyms to operate at full capacity.
"It's probably going to be the busiest summer we've ever had starting on Monday," Simpson said. "So we're just getting, getting ready, and getting excited."
Just down the street from the lake at Wallenpaupack Brewing company, many people were out enjoying the long holiday weekend despite the dreary weather.
"The social aspect of it and we missed it, and we need it back," said Sharon Washburn, from Ithaca, New York.
Sean O'Day with Wallenpaupack Brewing Company is thankful that the restaurant and bar industry is getting back to where it was pre-pandemic.
"The whole pandemic it's been a day-by-day thing, and now we can plan for the future. Just some of the rules that we can put some more tables into our building rather than being six feet apart, and all that kind of stuff, so we're definitely seeing the light at the end of the tunnel," said Sean O'Day, the operations manager at Wallenpaupack Brewing Company.
While the pandemic isn't over yet, folks were thankful for a sense of normalcy.