Like butterflies emerging from their cocoons, Massachusetts summer events are beginning to emerge from their COVID-required hibernation, but there are still some questions about how many summer traditions will return to normal this year.

Gov, Baker has announced that most pandemic restrictions will expire at the end of the month, and the Red Sox are already making plans for capacity crowds at Fenway park.

But it is not yet clear whether there will be a concert and fireworks on the Esplanade on July 4th.

The Boston Symphony Orchestra issued a statement last week saying “In consideration of Governor Baker’s recent announcement about state businesses and venues reopening at full capacity starting on May 29, the Boston Symphony Orchestra is currently evaluating its plans for the 2021 Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular; the safety and well-being of everyone involved remain the highest priority in the orchestra’s decision-making process. An official announcement will be made by mid-June.”

Traditional tourist meccas in the commonwealth are reopening for vistiors, but it is still unclear whether they will be at full capacity.

Jeff Bell, the owner of the Inn at Stockbridge says his major concern is implementing a mask policy for both vaccinated AND unvaccinated guests.

His reaction to the governor’s announcement was “mixed,” he told GBH News. “Great that we're making progress and that the vaccine is definitely being taken on board by the community within Massachusetts. But then again, once the holiday season opens, we're getting an influx of people from all over the U.S. How do I manage that? It is something that I'm still trying to wrap my head around.”

And he said there is a race on to staff up at a time when the competition for workers in the hospitality industry is extraordinarily fierce. Some hotels, he said are “paying dishwashers like 20 bucks an hour just to get them in.”

Susan Wissler, Executive Director of The Mount — author Edith Wharton's Home in Lenox — says she plans to keep most of the current COVID restrictions in place for now, but overall is optimistic about what lies ahead.
I think we'll probably sort of implement relaxed procedures in an incremental way, kind of watching and talking with our peers about how best to do this and make sure that we're kind of in step with our other Berkshires cultural organizations,” she said.

But Wissler said the facility is gearing up for an extraordinarily busy wedding season because most of the weddings booked there for 2020 have simply rolled over into 2021.

“Normally we don't host weddings in July and August because the property is too busy,” she told GBH News, “But we have no place to put the [2020] weddings. So we will be actually hosting 24 weddings this season starting last weekend and running all the way through mid-October.” That is about double the normal summer wedding season at the Mount.

One floating tourist attraction reopened Friday with a bang. Th USS Constitution welcomed visitors for the first time Friday and celebrated the event with a 21-cannon salute.