WESTPORT — Despite the absence of fireworks and a formal Independence Day celebration, residents still took to the beach Saturday for some fun in the sun.

“It’s my favorite day of the year,” said Meredith Gershon, of Westport. “I love it.”

“I understand that they made the right decision,” she said, noting she was glad that officials were focusing on trying to quell COVID-19’s spread. Still, she said, she enjoys the fun and dazzle of the annual fireworks display.

Hildy Sheinbaum, of Westport, said despite the sun, it’s still not the same and gives her a bit of a melancholy feeling.

“This is the first year in many that we didn’t invite anybody over,” she said.

Regardless of fireworks, for Claire Cassidy, of Newport Beach, Calif., coming back to the East Coast is reason enough to celebrate.

“I grew up in Westport,” she said, having even been a lifeguard at Compo Beach in the early 1980’s.

“It feels so me,” she said. “I miss it. I miss the East Coast.”

Likewise, her niece, Ashby Sussman, of New York City, who also grew up in town, is enjoying a throwback summer in Westport.

“It’s fun to be back where it all started,” she said.