TACOMA, Wash. - The countdown for the state to fully reopen is on as people and businesses waste no time reclaiming what life has to offer with COVID-19 restrictions loosening.
June 30th is the official date set by Gov. Jay Inslee but on Thursday, parts of Tacoma was already bursting with life. There were long lines outside some business, packed trails and parks and overall more hope for the future.
Guitarist George Burnett effortlessly played music at Point Ruston on Thursday. The fact that there was a large crowd to enjoy it is a sign of progress.
"Things are going to look better moving forward," Tacoma resident Jeff Stukes said.
"I’m happy to see more smiles, smiling eyes are great but actually seeing smiles," Jeff’s fiancé Korina Heard said.
How can you not smile when Mt. Rainier is showing off in all its glory.
"We have to pull over when we see it to take a picture," Marie Ross said.
It’s a view, long in the waiting for Marie and Dennis Ross who traveled from Boston to Tacoma for the first time this week. It’s been a while since they’ve seen their son in person because of the pandemic.
"It’s great moving forward we’ve learned a lot from this," Dennis said.
Whether they are tourists or Tacoma natives, the hours were not wasted at Dune Peninsula Park.
"There is definitely a lot more people, skaters, skateboarders, before it was like two people when I ran an entire lap," Versailles Garcia said.
Some of that foot traffic goes right into the new Point Ruston Public Market.
"I feel like we only go up from here," said Only Oatmeal owner Karina Blasco.
Blasco opened her cookie shop in the height of the pandemic and said it was risky and scary.
"There were days where it was just $100 dollars a base," Blasco said. That’s around only 50 cookies a day, but now she is selling hundreds per day.
"Fully reopening for me, we need more than one baker more couple of front of store people, we are hiring" Blasco said.
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