ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — With so many entertainment venues shuttered or limited in operation due to the COVID-19 pandemic last year, attendance shot up at state parks in Maryland, officials said Thursday.

Attendance at the state parks increased by 45% in 2020 to 21.5 million visitors, the Department of Natural Resources and Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford said. Attendance numbers surpassed 2019, the previous record year, by September.

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At times, including Memorial Day weekend and around the Fourth of July, some parks were so popular they had to temporarily stop letting in more visitors.

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For the latest information on coronavirus go to the Maryland Health Department’s website or call 211. You can find all of WJZ’s coverage on coronavirus in Maryland here.

CBS Baltimore Staff