GREEN COVE SPRINGS, Fla. – On a balmy Memorial Day with temperatures in the low 80s, people from all over Northeast Florida gathered Monday at the annual Memorial Day RiverFest in Green Cove Springs to honor the men and women who gave their lives serving in the United States military.
“Both my grandparents fought in the military, so it’s great to remember them,” Jacksonville resident Matt Howard said.
For more than 30 years, RiverFest has been an event where people gathered to remember military veterans. But last year, RiverFest was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“It feels wonderful to get out and do things again,” said Clay County resident Sharon Ventress.
Clay County resident Chase Wright said: “Everyone is coming out here with their families, and you can tell it’s bringing us all together. It hasn’t felt that way in a while.”
Memorial Day marks one of the first holidays since the COVID-19 vaccine has been made available for the majority of Americans, some COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted.
“You have a few that are still wearing masks, and some people are still keeping their distance, but overall it’s been great,” Clay County resident Dana Wright said. “It’s wonderful to get out and actually see people and interact with people.”
Clay County resident Dewane Smith said: “I like it. No mask. Social distancing. Everybody’s getting along.”
Zachary Williamson and Kristina Mosely go to RiverFest every year, but they were disappointed last year when the event was canceled.
“We actually came and showed up last year, hoping it would be here, and there was nothing. We were really disappointed,” Mosley said. “This year is awesome. We’re glad to be back.”
The festival wrapped up with a fireworks display at night, following live music and entertainment, food, sweets, and drinks.
Based on the number of people who attended the family-friendly event, it appeared a lot of people were glad the event came back this year.