TYBEE ISLAND, Ga. (WSAV) — Tybee Island will host its Fourth of July Fireworks on Sunday night but businesses all across the island are reaping the effects of the much-needed surge in tourism throughout the holiday weekend.

“This weekend, we’re looking for a really good weekend. Hopefully, the weather clears up that way people can still come out, but so far so good. We’ve been pretty booked up since about a week or two ago, people are booking way in advance this year compared to last year and so I think that’s really fortunate for us as well,” Akash Patel said, Manager of the Tybee Lodging Group.

Duane Watts, General Manager of Sting Rays Seafood says the difference between this year and last has been noticeable, to say the least.

“You can see a difference from this year to last year. The traffic, the foot traffic’s a lot more noticeable. Even though we did have a good year last year, it’s still big now. It’s been like that all year mostly,” Watts said.

Even though businesses across the island are short-staffed following the COVID-19 pandemic, they’re just hoping to be able to keep up with the crowds this holiday weekend.

“All week and we’re just like everybody else, we’re shorthanded in the kitchen so we’re trying to make the best we can out of a bad situation,” Watts said.

“We’ve been short-staffed throughout the whole summer, but we’ve been pushing through. Luckily our staff has been doing the best they can and everybody’s been nice and accommodating for us too,” Patel said.

The City of Tybee Island will celebrate the Fourth of July with the return of its annual fireworks show. The fireworks will be held July 4 at 9:15 PM, at the Tybee Pier & Pavilion, Tybrisa Street and Strand Avenue.

The city will implement traffic controls and detours to increase public safety as thousands of cars enter and exit the island in a short time span.

It’s recommended that anyone coming to Tybee Island on July 4th should arrive early. Parking is limited and the city anticipates city parking lots will be full by 9 AM. After the fireworks show, traffic barricades will funnel departing vehicles to Butler Avenue and Jones Avenue.

Police officers will direct traffic at Jones and U.S. 80 in lieu of the traffic lights.