MIAMI BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) - Thousands of people have started to descend on Ocean Drive for 2019 Memorial Day weekend festivities.

The weather appeared to be cooperating all day Friday, as visitors and locals took advantage of the clear skies and pretty sights.

People come to the tourist destination from all over to be a part of the party the city throws every year.

“It’s amazing. I love it. It’s a lot of eye candy!” said a woman visiting South Beach.

“This is a first time here. I’m enjoying it,” said a man.

Five young visitors in sunglasses cheered for 7News’ cameras.

“What’s up, Miami?” they screamed in unison.

“We’ve been coming for about seven years now,” said a man.

The array of options is wide, from a movie on the lawn to restaurants and bars on Ocean Drive, and of course, the Hyundai Air and Sea Show.

Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber said the city’s top priority is safety.

“We’ve hired 50 new officers. We’re bringing in for Memorial Day cops from other jurisdictions,” he said.

City leaders said there will be a much heavier police presence from Friday to Monday evenings, with at least 400 more officers patrolling on foot and on wheels.

“We’re gonna have officers at basically every intersection within the entertainment district of Miami Beach,” said Miami Beach Police Officer Ernesto Rodriguez.

Tourists said they welcome the extra security.

“I feel like at least, if anything were to happen, they’re right there,” said Jill Thompson, who is visiting from North Carolina.

“It feels very safe. There’s quite a lot of police [officers] that have been walking around today,” said John Hope, who flew in from the United Kingdom, “but yeah, I guess nowadays you have to have the safety.”

City officials advised drivers to expect delays getting into the Beach, as well as several road closures. Ocean Drive will remain closed to vehicular traffic until Tuesday morning, and eastbound traffic on the MacArthur Causeway will be reduced to just one lane.

Drivers will only be able to go north on Collins Avenue from Fifth to 16th streets and south on Washington Avenue between those streets.

Military fighter jets and planes will take to the skies above South Beach this weekend, performing stunts and hovering over the sand for the Air and Sea Show.

Mickey Markoff, the show’s executive producer, said it serves as a reminder of the real meaning behind the holiday.

“There’s no better time than Memorial Day weekend to say thanks to the men and women of our military and those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice on behalf of our freedom,” he said.

Visitors said there’s no better place to spend the holiday weekend than doing so safely in Miami Beach.

“It’s Memorial Day weekend, so everybody is here from out of town, including me,” said Kimberly Bell, who is visiting from Georgia, “so we want to be safe, because there’s gonna be a lot of people down here.”

“We want to come back already, and we just started,” said Diana Mati, who is visiting from New York.

“I hope everyone is safe, I hope everyone goes fine, and that have we have a good Memorial Day weekend,” said Timmy Asani, who is also visiting from New York. “Respect for the ones who [served] our country.”

For more information about events and road closures, click here.

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