Many gathered for expanded outdoor dining in Rittenhouse Square; Labor Day Weekend

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Saturday, in Rittenhouse Square, a different series of horns were seen blaring in the direction of traffic.

Courtesy of appropriately named SnackTime Brass Band.

As of the start of the Labor Day Weekend, roads around the area are closed to make way for a dining experience that's quickly becoming the norm.

"This is something that should have gone on a long time ago," said New York resident Bianca Facendo.

While outdoor dining isn't new, this expanded version is.

With the road shut down, patrons can get that dining room feel, which lends itself to celebrations like birthday bashes.

"It was very necessary," said Vineland NJ resident Keyshea Brown. "We've been in the house for a while so it's good to get out and mingle."

Some couples waited for a moment just like this one, to plan their evening out.

"We had a babysitter for the first time in a while. So, here we are," said Ben Schofield of Mt. Airy.

Down 18th Street, to Sansom Street, the only traffic is of those on their feet, walking by socially distant tables.

"It is one of the better days in the last couple of months," added Emily Valleras from Abington.

Friends relished the moment during a time when wins have felt hard to come by.

"We haven't really had that personal experience, seeing other people on the street you know smiling, and giving a wave," said Valleras. "It's just nice to see other people and not have such a negative feeling about the world right now."

To many, the idea of keeping this arrangement going sounds exciting.

" I feel this is something that should be around after the pandemic," Facendo said.
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