Atlantic Beach Prepares For Memorial Day Crowds

The coolers are packed, umbrellas are keeping folks cool, and sandcastles are keeping the kids busy.

It’s looking like a perfect long weekend is in store to celebrate Memorial Day.

“I’m blessed to live in North Carolina. I had plans, they fell through and I was like I'll just get in the car drive down with one of my best friends and enjoy the beach for the day. Not a lot of people have that luxury but we do,” said Lorrie Palaruan

Palaruan is not only celebrating the unofficial start of summer, she's also remembering the men and women who died serving our country.

“I'm in the military so memorial day means a lot to me. It’s remembering our past soldiers that have fallen and the ones who haven’t made it home safe,” said Kyle Dauphinee.

"My dad was in the military as well so Memorial Day has a special place in our heart,” said Grant Leonard, “It’s a good tribute of respect for those who came before us."

Like many folks this weekend, Leonard plans to spend the entire weekend at the beach.

And with the crowd comes traffic, especially in Atlantic Beach.

"If they're coming down for the weekend, they have to have some patience with the traffic. Lights are working appropriately,” according to Atlantic Beach Deputy Chief Jeff Harvey, “They might seem long but everyone will get to where they need to go."

Officials say they have added some free parking spaces, but once those fill up drivers will have to pay 10 bucks to park at one of 4 lots.