Pandemic impacts Labor Day weekend plans for travel, events

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Labor Day weekend will look a bit different this weekend compared to other years. 

“Without a doubt at the turnpike we are expecting significantly less traffic than we did last year,” said Carl Defebo with the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission. 

RELATED: Need to 14-day quarantine after travel? CDC says consider where you’ve been

Defebo says, 2.9 million drivers are expected on the turnpike over the holiday weekend, down from 3.6 million lat year.

Expected Labor Day weekend 2020 travelers on PA Turnpike: 

  • Friday, Sept. 4 – 625,000 are expected to travel the system;
  • Saturday, Sept. 5 – 475,000 are expected to travel the system;
  • Sunday, Sept. 6 – 400,000 are expected to travel the system;
  • Monday, Sept. 7– 400,000 are expected to travel the system;
  • Tuesday, Sept. 8 – 500,00 are expected to travel the system.

With less drivers on the road, Defebo is urging people to stay safe and keep an eye on their speed. 

“One of the things we have seen occurring has been an increase in speed based on the fact that when there’s fewer vehicles on the highway,” said Defebo. “People tend to press a little harder on the gas.” 

Once you get to your destination, events being held this weekend, like Kipona Festival in Harrisburg, will be adhering to CDC guidelines. 

“It is going to be different,” said Harrisburg Mayor Eric Papenfuse. 

The city of Harrisburg will still celebrate Kipona Festival, but on a hybrid schedule. 

Saturday will be the only day for in person events, like food trucks and fireworks on City Island. All other events will be held virtually. 

“We take the health and safety of everyone coming to his event absolutely seriously,” said Mayor Papenfuse. “We are making every efforts to make sure this is a safe event.” 

Face masks must be worn, and there will be hand washing stations on City Island. There will be no seating. So, festival goers are encouraged to bring their own chairs and blankets.

More information on Labor Day weekend travel can be found here. More information on the Kipona Festival can be found here.

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