EAST LYME, Conn. (WTNH)–Long before dark, the fireworks on the 4th were happening outside of Connecticut state parks, with long lines of cars filled with beach-goers trying to get in.
The problem was so many people showed up at the beginning of the day that no more cars were allowed in passed 9:00 am.
“We gotta dig into plan B and C right now,” Krupa said.
Others were in the same boat.
“We first went to Old Lyme — that was packed so we came here thinking it would be maybe a little less,” said Mark Lindberg of Southington. “That’s not the case so we dont know where to go now.”
The park ranger tells News 8 close to 2,000 people packed into Rocky Neck State Park to celebrate America’s birthday.
One group was barbecuing chanting “USA! USA!”
Another group was on the beach singing happy birthday — not to America, but to Jennifer Ortiz of New Britain. Her gift was waking up early and getting here at 6:00 am. News 8 asked her if it was worth it.
“Yes,” she said. “We didn’t have to wait in those humongous lines.”
State parks across Connecticut were packed and closed early, including Rocky Neck.
Despite the long lines to get in, many people took it in stride because of what this day means.
“Definitely worth it,” said Sasha Mateo. “We’re having a great time. My family is here, friends are here, the sun is shining, it’s a great time.”
“It’s the 4th man,” Krupa said. “It’s a time to celebrate and be happy.”
For a full list of closed state parks, click here.
WEB EXTRA: News 8 is live at Rocky Neck State Park on 4th of July