COVINGTON, Ind. (WCIA) — Memorial Day is usually one of the first parties of the summer. For people in Illinois wanting to celebrate, they may be taking that party across the state border.
In Covington, they are already starting to see it.
“They’re coming to downtown Covington,” says Mayor Brad Crain. “I’ve noticed with Illinois not being open people need some place to go, they’re tired of being home.”
As part of Indiana moving into Phase Three, retail stores can now be at 75 percent capacity. Restaurants are still only at 50 percent, but one of Covington’s most popular destinations says they have still been full of people from Illinois.
While it is usually a pretty even split of people from Illinois and Indiana, border hoppers have become more frequent. With restaurants still closed for the weekend in Illinois, the Beef House is preparing for a lot of people.
“Some people are ready to get out and do things,” says Beef House owner Bob Wright. “I think this will be a busy one. We’re mainly taking reservations and we’re getting a lot of them. The phone is ringing off the hook. It’ll be busy.”
The Beef House says this year they are losing out on people who usually stop there on their way back from the Indy 500, but they are expecting to make up for that. For other stores in Covington, they say they are ready with open arms for people needing somewhere to go for the holiday.
“We haven’t had near as many cases as Illinois,” says Crain. “We’re ready to open up and I think all the store owners are ready, and I know as a Mayor I’m ready for it to be open.”
Looking toward another holiday, Indiana’s reopening plan is supposed to get to Phase Five by July 4. Covington is planning on it. They are going ahead with their fireworks show and celebration that weekend.