Cities Have Started Cancelling 4th of July Fireworks Displays

The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has interrupted life as people know it in nearly every way imaginable. Businesses have closed, sporting events have been canceled, film and television production has shut down, and social distancing has kept many from the other activities as well including civic events. Even with some states relaxing their stay at home orders prompting things to slowly open back up, it seems that for many places things won't be getting back to normal anytime soon and that includes the cancellation of Fourth of July festivities. Some cities and counties have already made the decision to cancel their annual fireworks shows as a result of COVID-19.

According to WTOP News, Columbia, Maryland has cancelled their fireworks show for the year as well as other large events -- including weddings and other gatherings -- that utilize county facilities through June 14. Sports leagues, programs, classes, and other events run by the county are cancelled through the end of May. All of these cancellations are being done in the name of reducing the spread of COVID-19 through large gatherings.

"It is imperative that we take precautions," Howard County executive Calvin Ball said in a memo.

The county's Director of Recreation and Parks, Raul Delerme noted that hosting large events could be a safety concern.

"We cannot safely hold an event that draws 20,000 to 30,000 people in a crowded area," Delerme said.

Columbia, Maryland isn't alone in cancelling their fourth of July festivities. Traverse City, Michigan has also cancelled their display due to COVID-19 with the non-profit organization that produces that show citing precaution as the driving force behind the decision.

"The uncertainty of ensuring a safe environment during a pandemic cast a dark cloud over this great American tradition. Therefore, we choose long-term precaution in lieu of invitation for mass gathering," TC Boom Boom Club board president Tim Hinkley told UpNorthLive. "This decision unfortunately supersedes our mission to 'light up the sky.'"

It's possible that more cities will cancel their Fourth of July festivities or make major changes in the name of safety as we get closer to the holiday.

The cancellations of various Fourth of July events are just the latest among many large gatherings being cancelled or postponed across the country. Numerous conventions have also been cancelled, including WonderCon, San Diego Comic-Con, Anime Expo 2020, and more.

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