Breaking News
More () »

People gathered in massive crowds at popular Arizona destinations for Memorial Day

People turned out in large groups at some popular spots over the weekend and everything seemed to be back to pre-coronavirus normal by Monday.

PHOENIX — Memorial Day was a go in the Valley. 

People turned out in full swing at some popular spots over the weekend and everything seemed to be back to pre-coronavirus normal by Monday. 

It wasn't even 6 a.m. Monday at Lake Pleasant and dozens -- if not more than 100 -- cars already lined up, ready to get in and start celebrating Memorial Day.

“We're just trying to get out and have some fun on the lake,” said James Taylor, who was waiting in line.

One man said he arrived at midnight to snag the second spot in line. His wife says it was a necessary move. 

"Because the 17-mile line on Friday, I wasn't willing to like risk it," Amber Ford said.

RELATED: Recreation areas close due to crowding, I-17 backed up for 15 miles during Memorial Day weekend

Scenes like this were repeated across the Valley, including at Salt River where scores of people floated down the river and caught rays on its banks Saturday.

And it's not as if it was convenient: Lots were full. Traffic was snarled. Long walks were required for some.

Colleen Johnson, for example, was in town from Denver, where she says little to no Memorial Day Weekend celebrations could be had because of COVID-19 concerns.

“I truly believe are mental health is as important as our physical health, so we need to live in community. We need to have fun. We need to have laughter. We need to enjoy the sunshine. Vitamin D is crucial,” she said.

Back on Lake Pleasant on Monday, everyone appeared to be able to avoid the long walks, hauling boats, jet skis and paddle boards up to the water's edge. 

Jeff - a veteran - is one of many who took advantage. 

"We got a lot of veterans in the family,” he said. “My brother-in-law is. So I wanna say happy Memorial Day and be safe, be careful, and you know just look out for each other."

While Arizona is open, remember COVID-19 preventive measures like social distancing are still in place, including when you are swimming. 

RELATED: Memorial Day weekend crowds spark warnings from experts citing coronavirus

RELATED: Boat safety tips from Lake Pleasant as weather heats up

RELATED: Volunteers picking up pounds of trash left behind in Sedona

Paid Advertisement

Before You Leave, Check This Out