San Francisco, CA - The state is set to reopen on Tuesday, after more than a year of closed doors and empty streets due to the coronavirus pandemic.
It's been nearly a year since the historic carousel in Golden Gate Park took a go around, shut down due to the coronavirus.
"I see all of these little kids they want to go on over and over again it makes me real happy," said Jackson Snyder.
Snyder runs the carousel at Golden Gate Park. On Saturday, he kicked off his first day as the conductor welcoming excited riders back on opening day.
"I’m really excited. I’m going to do that orange kitty," said Josie Horrocks, a young carousel rider.
"This will be her second time riding the carousel," her mother Deborah Giattina said. "So, she’s really particular about what animal she wants to get on, she’s remembered it since last year."
Last year, the Golden Gate park was nearly empty. Now, with the sun shining and the state's official reopening day just around the corner, the crowds can't seem to stay away.
"We’ve been waiting for this month for the last year and we just got vaccinated, both of us, and she’s been enjoying herself so it’s been awesome," said the Koskinen family.
For many parents who have been inside with their little ones all year, a day at the park was a little more special.
"For a long time we had to stay off playgrounds, just figure out how to play in the grass and on the rocks and so it’s really nice to be able to have the playgrounds back," said Giattina.
On Tuesday, June 15, California will officially reopen and many people say they're looking forward to opening day and even started making plans.
"It’s the day before my birthday, so my parents are going to be in town. So, I’m going to go ahead and probably go out to dinner, maybe inside, which will be nice for change," said Briana Adams, who was celebrating her birthday at Golden Gate Park with her friends.
Out in the Sunset district business is already picking up.
"We’re keeping it at full capacity, with only 12 and a half. But, we’re looking forward to Tuesday and everybody coming back in," said Fireside Bar owner, Lisa Merrall.
As we inch closer to the finish line, Bay Area residents are remembering the marathon that was last year and looking forward to sprinting into the future.
"I feel like we’re creating a safer world and it’s going to get better," Snyder said.
California official reopens on Tuesday, June 15.