PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WMBB) — After several parades, fireworks displays and the reopening of the Panama City Marina, Fourth of July festivities have ended in the Panama City area.
The holiday weekend brought a lot of traffic, tourism and economic benefit to the community, giving support to many businesses that are trying to get back on their feet after a tumultuous year.
Panama City hosted its Fourth of July parade, multiple areas welcomed visitors and residents for fireworks, and lower risk conditions in the Gulf allowed for more beach goers and swimmers over the weekend.
“I heard more comments from our customers, the people that this beach generates, and more flags, that they were really proud of what the Fourth of July means,” Mike Thomas, mayor of Panama City Beach, said. “I think we did good down here, I think the community represents what America is supposed to be.”
Officials say the warm weather and open businesses brought the right atmosphere for the holiday.
“Fourth of July was great this year. The weather was beautiful, we had an awful lot of families. There were a few problems, but very few. For the crowd we had, i think it was a big success. Every business I talked to did good,” Thomas said.
The Fourth of July holiday falls in the middle of the busy tourist season for the Panama City Beach area. The community will rely more on special events to continue bringing visitors and economic boosts to businesses after school starts again in August.
“We got hurt, but we’re still alive. The beach and the county are still doing good. This influx of tourism and the money they bring helps those that were devastated on the other side of the bridge an awful lot,” Thomas said.