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'It's completely different' | A look at Memorial Day weekend this year

Restaurants prepare for a busy holiday weekend and ceremonies honoring fallen veterans shift.

LONG LAKE, Minn — With capacity limits lifted, restaurants like Birch's on the Lake are gearing up for a busy Memorial Day weekend.

Burton Joseph is the owner of Birch's on the Lake and said they were only open for takeout last Memorial Day weekend.

"You have tables stacked up. You have furniture out of the way. You're focused just on curbside," Joseph said. "It felt very surreal."

A huge difference compared to this year with full tables and the need for workers.

“People are literally craving to get out. It’s like the roaring ’20s is back and that’s what it really feels like," Joseph said.

"It's fun because we're at a restaurant. We're outdoors on a patio where in the past we haven't been able to do that for a long time," Tom Bye, a patron at Birch's on the Lake said.

Joseph says business is up 30-40% compared to two years ago and shows no sign of slowing down this holiday weekend despite the cooler temperatures.

"Boats will be out on the lake, they'll be wearing coats and they'll come up and do a little dockside service and we've got fires to keep people warm," he said.

In a year full of change, one thing remains on Memorial Day - honoring those who have fought and died for our country.

The Minnesota Remembers Memorial Day event at Fort Snelling National Cemetery is taking place on Sunday after being canceled last year.

Fort Snelling will also be hosting a Memorial Day service, but it will be virtual again this year.

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