DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - Huge crowds are expected to pack Central Florida beaches for the long Memorial Day holiday weekend.
Locals and visitors came out to Daytona Beach early Saturday morning to beat the large crowds.
"Trying to beat the traffic, trying to beat everyone coming out here. Get a parking spot, get my family set up and have a good time," beachgoer Theophilus Harp said.
Volusia County Beach Patrol said it's expecting area beaches to reach capacity. Tammi Hollis and her husband are visiting from Ohio. They came out to the beach right away.
"Just trying to see what's going on for the weekend, Memorial weekend, to make our plans for the next couple of days," Hollis said.
Lifeguards patrolled the beach and kept a close eye on the water. Beach patrol is flying the red and purple flags this weekend to warn swimmers and beachgoers about hazardous rip currents and man o' wars washing up on shore.
Beach patrol is also warning drivers to be on the lookout for soft sand. News 6 saw a car get stuck in the loose sand. A beachgoer helped tow the vehicle.
Many people are not letting the crowds or rough surf stop them from having a good time. They're also taking a moment to reflect on what Memorial Day means to them.
"It's important. Think about the sacrifice and thank God my brothers came home and my dad came back safe," beachgoer Iris Hubbert said.
Harp is currently serving in the Army and is back home this weekend with family. He said this holiday is all about remembering those who paid the ultimate sacrifice.
"Many veterans have sacrificed a lot, including myself. I've had a couple friends pass away during this time of the year. So it's just good to sit back, relax, and pay our respects accordingly," Harp said.
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