SONOMA (KPIX) — On this Friday business was picking up in Sonoma but it wasn’t the usual crowd sipping wines and dining out. Seniors are living it up after many have spent the past year cooped up in their homes.

Surveying the scene at Sonoma Plaza you could see the smiles, hear the laughter and sense diners’ joy at being together again.

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“My heart is so much lighter and I feel a lot of hope,” Cynthia DeForge, a Sonoma resident, said.

Hope that was delivered in the form of a vaccine.

“I’m dancing in the streets happy about the vaccinations,” DeForge added.

“When I got the first one I was like, ‘wow!’ So happy, you know?” Zoila Diaz, a fellow Sonoma resident, said.

According to Sonoma County, 83 percent of seniors 75 and older here have been vaccinated.

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“It is a sense of freedom. It gives you a feeling of normalcy again,” Tony Disanti, a Sonoma resident said.

It’s a trend nationwide as the largest segment of the vaccinated population is starting to dine out again.

“It’s a world of difference. I can go out and enjoy my friends and see people I haven’t seen in a year,” Tom Sheehan, a Sonoma resident said.

Eileen Ehrsmann from Sonoma said, while she finally is getting out with friends, she is celebrating with caution. Until more are vaccinated, she will continue to wear a mask and social distance.

”Maybe it’s my age because I know, if I get it, that’s it, goodbye … See you later!” Ehrsmann said.

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Aside from being able to come out and see their friends, many said they were grateful they can now see their families.