MANHATTAN, N.Y. (PIX11) — The Statue of Liberty’s crown welcomed visitors Tuesday for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic shut down much of New York City in 2020.

The reopening was announced on the NYCgo tourism group’s Instagram page in a post featuring three photos of the iconic New York landmark.

“I been coming up for about 4 years now,” said Joshua Denmark of Jacksonville, Florida. “Been trying to go every time, never been able to do it so it was really nice experience to be able to finally do it.”

Joshua and his son, Jacob, were among some of the first people to grace the crown of Lady Liberty since March 2020.

“There were some people over there that wanted to go up [to the crown] that made arrangements two months ago and did not because it wasn’t open at that time,” said Joshua Denmark.

The grounds of the statue re-opened in July 2020, and the pedestal, about a year after that. Once you’re at the top of the pedestal, visitors with tickets can climb 162 steps to the crown, where spectacular New York harbor views await.

But it’s a pretty tough climb, which is why dawn short was perfectly fine watching her son and grandson take it all in.

“Oh, they enjoyed it,” said Short. “They did so many pictures, and to be that close was awesome.”

“Glad to see that it re-opened,” said Jacob Denmark, who will go back to Florida with a memory he’ll never forget. “It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”

Those looking to visit the statue should book tickets early, as slots fill up months in advance, the post advised. It also noted that Statue City Cruises is the only service providing access to both Lady Liberty and Ellis Island, in a word of warning against other ferry services claiming to go there.

Like much of New York City, the statue suspended operations as the coronavirus gripped the Big Apple in March 2020. The grounds of Liberty Island reopened in July 2020, with the statue’s pedestal observation deck reopening nearly a year later, according to the National Park Service.

Tickets are available at statuecitycruises.com.