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Warm weather draws big crowds to Northeast Ohio beaches, parks

No cap has been placed on crowds.

CLEVELAND — Saturday was a fantastic day to do just about anything, and many people flocked to Northeast Ohio’s parks and beaches.

Picture-perfect weather made it possible, with temperatures in the 70’s.

Good behavior did too.

“It’s such a beautiful day and we just had to get out and enjoy the day,” said Christian, a mother who brought her son Ashtin to Edgewater Beach in Cleveland.

People there appeared to practice social distancing, keeping several feet apart. Some wore masks.

It was a far cry from the rougher waters elsewhere.

In Huntington Beach, California crowds pleaded with the governor to reopen their shores. It came after thousands had recently gathered and refused to social distance.

Huntington Beach in Bay Village did not have that problem.

In Palm Beach, Florida there were even more protests, as demonstrators called on their local government to let them work.

“We need to pay our bills, we have mortgages, we have family to feed,” said Gus Ramirez, who owns a small business.

Back home, COVID-19 has certainly taken its toll as well.

The Metroparks announced 650 employees will be laid off, furloughed or have their salary reduced.

Yet there are some bright spots.

Visitation is up 134% month over month since the pandemic broke out.

Metroparks CEO Brian Zimmerman shared Saturday how they are now thinking differently.

“Challenging ourselves to find creative ways to have people use the parks. The golf courses have been busy, which absolutely has been fantastic. I think boating will be very popular this year,” he said.

Though the Metroparks made social distancing recommendations, it placed no restrictions. There is no cap on how many people can be at a given place.

After announcing the popular Edgewater Beach Live and Euclid Beach Live series would both be canceled this year, Zimmerman said talks are underway to make the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo a drive-through experience.

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