RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- As we remember those who've sacrificed it all this Memorial Day, families and friends also look forward to the national holiday as the unofficial start to summer. While this year looks and feels different than years past due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many are still making the most of the long weekend.
On and along the Neuse River in Raleigh, people were casting fishing lines, riding bikes on the Upper Neuse Greenway and putting boats in at the canoe launch to float and paddle down the river.
"We take time usually to remember those that sacrifice for our freedom," said Gloria Stock, a mom of four from Raleigh.
Stock and her family were out strolling on the greenway Monday morning, missing their friends and extended family but choosing to make the most of the day.
"(We're) just trying to have fun while we stay social distanced, trying to be grateful for the things that we have," Stock said.
Spending the day close to home is not what many families had hoped or planned for.
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"No, no it's not," said Nick Strickland, as he and his family loaded up their canoe. "We were gonna go to the beach, but there's so many people out there. We didn't want to get so close to everybody, so we're doing something a little farther apart."
Locals are still finding ways to make memories together.
"It's fun to hang out with family," Strickland said. "We're excited. It's gonna be a lot of fun still."
Families, friends make most of Memorial Day weekend amid coronavirus pandemic