In most years, Fourth of July weekend is this community’s “Super Bowl,” if you will.

This is the big holiday for the beach towns, in particular, as vacationers flood the area to partake in sand, water, boardwalk fries, ice cream cones and fireworks. Culturally, it is our turn to shine — to show off how amazing our community is, and to afford vacationers an enriching experience that will make them want to come back and visit us again and again.

Economically, it is critical. The Independence Day weekend can make or break a small-business owner’s year, and, thus, his or her livelihood. It’s generally not because they’ve had a good winter that local business owners can afford to eat in February. They can eat in February because they had a good summer.

And COVID-19 has pierced an arrow through our economic wellbeing. Like elsewhere, businesses were shut down. Restrictions on seating and capacity have caused damage. A recent outbreak along the shore has reinforced some of those more drastic restrictions. And foreign students not being able to come to the beach this summer has crippled many businesses in terms of staffing.

Vacationers, we are grateful for your arrival — even more so this year than in the past. We are thankful that you have chosen this community for your trip, and we want you to make memories that will last you until your next visit.

But understand that you might wait a little longer, and things might not run as smoothly this year as most. We are trying our very best, and we beg for your patience and understanding.