CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Another Memorial Day weekend has come and gone and despite the pandemic, some things didn’t look too different.
Thousands of people packed onto lowcountry beaches like Isle of Palms and Folly Beach over the holiday weekend, looking to soak up the sun.
Mayor Tim Goodwin of Folly Beach and Mayor Jimmy Carroll of Isle of Palms agree that the weekend went very smoothly on both islands and the amount of visitors wasn’t any different than past Memorial Day weekends.
“I think Memorial Day weekend went extremely well,” said Carroll.
“About like other memorial days,” said Goodwin. “It was busy.”
It wasn’t only the beaches that were packed. The island restaurants and shopping areas also welcomed guests. Some Folly Beach restaurants had wait times of up to an hour.
The concern with the weekend’s crowds is whether or not people were social distancing.
Social distancing on Folly Beach was ultimately left up to the beachgoers themselves, but the city did have police patrolling the beaches all weekend long to try and point people in the right direction.
“It wasn’t as bad as we thought it would be, of course it wasn’t perfect,” said Goodwin.
Over on Isle of Palms, officers were patrolling, as long as the tide would let them, reminding people that groups of more than three must disperse unless, according to Mayor Carroll, they are related by blood.
“Most people seemed to follow it pretty well,” said Carroll.
While Mayor Goodwin knows having tourists on Folly brings money into the city, he is disappointed by what the visitors left behind.
“The city itself, inland, people have trashed the side roads and it’s amazing what people will do. Park your car and throw your trash down. I don’t understand it,” said Goodwin.
He says the city may have to start charging for parking on the entire island if people can’t clean up after themselves.