GULF SHORES, Ala. (WALA) - The beaches are packed for one of the busiest weeks of the year in Southern Baldwin County.
While the Fourth of July comes every year it, of course, only does so once. So with expectations that 2013 will be a record year for crowds, officials in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach want to hit a home run.
Grant Brown with the City of Gulf Shores said preps for the holiday began weeks ago, and he said traffic and people on the beach have increased every day.
"It doesn't get any bigger. Fourth of July here in Gulf Shores is a huge time for us. All the businesses hope to be sold out and have their best foot forward. It's a fun time," said Brown.
Anticipation for the city's large fireworks show on the public beach, which Brown said will happen rain or shine, continues to grow.
"There is a lot of excitement as far as I can see. People here at the beach are excited. We've had people come down here just to stay for the week. Anticipation leading up to the fourth is always exciting," Brown said.
Ken Grimes with the City of Orange Beach said a fireworks show will be held at the Wharf as well as on the public beach and live musical acts, including the band Alabama, will perform.
"The best part is since 2010, people now know we're here. They know we have the beaches and they're filling up the condos and beach. We just want to keep them safe and for them to have a great time," said Grimes.
Officials said July 4 doesn't just mean more cars and more foot traffic, it also means more boats. They said you'll probably see four times the amount of boats out on the water.
"It's been positive so far. We hope the weather cooperates with us for the next few days and we'll have a very safe, family friendly Fourth of July," Brown said.
Officials stress if you're planning to go to either city for the holiday, make sure to leave early, plan ahead and drive safely.
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