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Hundreds fill Bear Creek Lake Park, marking a return to normalcy

Fourth of July celebrations are beginning to look normal again as many fill Bear Creek Lake Park again following a year of restrictions due to COVID-19.

LAKEWOOD, Colo. — Holiday celebrations are beginning to look normal again now that 70% of Coloradans have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

“It’s summer 2021, so let’s make it the best we can,” said Alex Gutierrez of Lakewood.

For Coloradans, that means spending time outdoors with no restrictions this 4th of July weekend.

RELATED: 70% of Colorado adults have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine

“It feels great to be out here with no mask, I’m vaccinated. It feels good just to see family and friends once again,” said Anthony Walker of Aurora.

Walker and Gutierrez are two good friends who are excited to gather once again with both family and friends. Just like many others at Bear Creek Lake Park who are enjoying all the park has to offer.

“We have our swim beach here which is for the kids to go out and swim. We have a smaller area for the younger kids. Rocky Mountain Paddleboard is down the way and they’re going to be renting standup paddleboards and kayaks,” said Lindsay Gillis, Park Ranger Naturalist.

Gillis adds the 4th of July Weekend is usually the biggest of the year. In 2019, 6,000 people flooded the park and she expects the same crowd this time around.

“Been waiting for this day all year,” said Jake Fidler.

It wasn’t clear if he was referring to the 4th of July, or dating in-person again.

“This is our first date,” said Haley Sheffield.

Fidler spent most of the time inflating a few paddleboards so the two could hit the water. Meanwhile, Sheffield waited until the hard work was over.

“I didn’t expect this when I got here,” he said.

While many chose the water and the sand, the Chavez family decided to pitch a tent in a shady grassy area to get the kids out of the house.

“It’s been rough. It was kind of hard to get used to so it’s really nice to get a breath of fresh air, get outdoors. A little taste of normalcy” said Sergio Chavez of Fort Lupton.

RELATED: 4th of July weekend travelers should expect delays

Especially for their 5-year-old son Sabien who was excited to get in the water with his life vest and floaties. And to tell everyone, Happy 4th of July.

Park rangers are expecting a record crowd on Sunday. For those coming to enjoy, park rangers suggest arriving early, bringing cash, and coming prepared to have fun while dealing with the heat and crowds.

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