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SHELLEY TERRY | STAR BEACON 

Katie Jeppe, a server at Eddie's Grill in Geneva-on-the-Lake, dresses up in her red, white and blue hat Saturday for the Fourth of July.

GENEVA-ON-THE-LAKE — The Fourth of July is traditionally a time for hot dogs, hamburgers, motorcycles, fireworks and beach time at Geneva-on-the-Lake.

Due to the spread of COVID-19, this year is different. Geneva-on-the-Lake, as well as the Lodge at Geneva-on-the-Lake, canceled the Fourth of July activities and fireworks display because of the pandemic.

Street parking along the strip filled quickly Saturday afternoon, but side streets and parking lots were not full. For food, people waited in not-so-long lines, six feet apart, and many wore face masks.

"It's less crowded this year, thanks to the coronavirus," said Francine Lewis of West Virginia, who owns a summer home by Lake Shore Park in Ashtabula Township. "We're just coming in to get donuts and we will probably go back home."

While the sidewalks and streets may be less crowded, business was booming at Madsen Donuts because of folks like Lewis, who stood outside in the hot sun waiting their turn to order.

"We are still really busy," said Madsen employee, Mikayla Watts, 19, of Geneva. "It's a lot different this year, but it's working."

Madsen offered donuts with red, white and blue sprinkles, as well as their usual fare of cream sticks, jelly donuts and old fashioned donuts to celebrate the holiday.

Patti Keller of Pittsburgh stood in line at Eddie's Grill for her "annual Eddie's hamburger, fries and root beer," she said. "We come every Fourth of July — it's tradition."

Keller looks forward to the culinary delights offered on the strip, while her sons, Asher and Ivan, play in the arcades.

"It's not so crowded today, but the place was mobbed last night, even without the promise of fireworks," she said.

Eugene Smith of Warren said he misses the crowds.

"I like to sit and people watch," he said. "But the weather is beautiful so I'm not complaining."

Jose Perez and Glorianne Morales, both of Youngstown, took advantage of the sunny day to bring their dog, Narumi, to see Lake Erie. Narumi didn't even have to walk; -- Perez gave the dog a ride in a baby stroller.

Kelli Shingleton, also from Youngstown, said her family likes to go to Eddie's Grill and the beach on Fourth of July. 

"We are here for the weekend," she said. 

Katie Jeppe, a server at Eddie's Grill, decorated her hair with red, white and blue silk flowers and ribbons. She also donned a patriotic face mask and necklace.

"We go all out every year," she said. 

While tourists shopped at the strip's unique shops and ate in the restaurants, the Geneva-on-the-Lake police and fire departments were on duty, keeping everyone safe.

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