CHATHAM COUNTY, N.C. (WTVD) -- This year's Memorial Day arrived in stark contrast to Memorial Day 2020.
A year ago, many people were forced to stay home and were unable to enjoy local parks and outdoor recreational facilities because of the pandemic.
"For a year, everyone has been yearning for that feeling of normalcy and it's nice to see," said Triangle resident Roger Daniel.
Daniel and his kids spent part of their holiday enjoying all that Cary's Jack Smith Park has to offer -- with the exception of the sprayground, which is closed until further notice.
"We were a little disappointed. I didn't know," said Daniel. "(My kids) have bathing suits in the car. But it's alright, they're ready to have fun."
Cary mom, Kylie Williams, decided to get her months-old daughter out of the house to enjoy the park with her husband and mother-in-law.
"The mommy groups aren't really happening anymore," Williams said. "It's hard."
She decided to come to the park so her daughter and the family could get some "exposure" after welcoming a new baby during the pandemic.
"I think through me, (my daughter) will meet people. So that's a big deal," said Williams.
In nearby Chatham County, residents packed Jordan Lake. At one point, an entrance on Beaver Creek Road had to be closed off due to the parking lots being at capacity.
A group of four friends, all in elementary school, were surprised by their parents with a trip to the beach at Jordan Lake.
"It was really fun...and it was really cold," said Nishka. "We did a challenge, a bury challenge, like we were burying our legs and the last to their legs out. We did a swimming race to me. Then we started making some holes and a big, pyramid, pit thingy."