Southport businesses see return to ‘normal’ Memorial Day Weekend crowds

Thousands of people came out to businesses in Southport for Memorial Day Weekend.
Provision Company
People enjoying a late lunch at Provision Company in Southport on Memorial Day 2022 (Photo: Sydney Bouchelle/WWAY)

SOUTHPORT, NC (WWAY) — Thousands of people came out to businesses in Southport for Memorial Day Weekend.

The holiday unofficially marks the start of the summer season. For the seaside city of Southport and businesses like Provision Company, that means it’s go time.

“It really set off the summer. This is the bang that starts off our 110 days of absolute insanity,” Provision Company General Manager Zack Woolum said. “We were slammed all weekend long. It felt like it was normal again.”

This weekend also marked the first Memorial Day these businesses were able to operate with no COVID-19 restrictions since the pandemic began. Woolum says the Sunday before Memorial Day is their second busiest day of the year, only behind July 5, and the crowds were back in full force this year.

“This weekend was incredible. There were so many tourists. Hundreds. Thousands of people,” Woolum said.

People who were enjoying the views, perfect weather, and conch fritters on Monday, all while remembering the reason for this three-day weekend.

“We want to give our thanks. Thanks to all those who have served. Thanks for their service. For those here and those who have passed,” Oak Island residents Jill Giordano and Jan Vines said.

Just down the street at The Mullet and Southport Water Tours, owner Bobbo Frankenfield says they were jam-packed all weekend as well.

“This weekend was crazy, but today was definitely a little slower. Everyone’s kind of out on the beach, hanging out, and starting to head home. Friday, Saturday, and Sunday were very busy,” Frankenfield said.

Frankenfield grew up in Southport just around the corner from his business. He says he’s seen the city grow significantly.

“Basically, Memorial Day to September when I was a kid was our busy season. The rest of the time, it was a ghost town. Now, pretty much, it’s busy all year long,” Frankenfield said.

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