ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Red-hot heat, white sand and blue skies were the perfect combination for thousands of people as they hit Pinellas County beaches Saturday to celebrate this year's Fourth of July holiday.
While beaches in Miami were closed and major firework shows across the county were canceled, beaches in Pinellas County beaches remained open.
"I was really worried that we weren't going to be able to come to the beach and have a good time, but we brought our own party because we always bring our own party," one beach-goer said.
Many people took to sand to celebrate Independence Day at one of the only locations in town where one can go mask-free.
"There's not really a whole lot to plan right now because you don't know what to do. You don't know what you're going to get scrutinized for, but we came to the beach because who doesn't want to be in this beautiful scenery," Dallas resident Lindsay Cochrane said.
Saturday's holiday came on the same day Florida reported a single-day record high of more than 11,000 cases of COVID-19.
The sunshine state's number of cases make up for nearly 20 percent of the nation's 52,000 total cases reported Saturday.
While indoor mask requirements remain in place in Pinellas County and in other neighboring counties, Governor DeSantis says he won't close businesses again nor will he order a state-wide mask mandate.
Meanwhile, in Treasure Island, beachgoers did seem to maintain social distancing guidelines.
"It seems like everyone is getting into a groove. I saw a social-distancing kick-ball game where no one was getting within 10 feet of each other so it seems like everyone is in a little bit lighter mood today," Tampa resident Berry Tugrul said.