The coronavirus has disrupted a long list of 2020 events, and the city’s annual Independence Day festivities can be added to that list. The public will still get to enjoy a spectacular fireworks show, but they’re encouraged to do so from their car instead of gathering as a community at the Fort Payne Sports Complex.
This year the Fourth falls on a Saturday, and many people enjoy traveling the week of July 6. Some also prefer to spend the actual Fourth of July enjoying events with friends and family at home. With this in mind, the city’s event is scheduled for Thursday, July 2nd.
Mayor Larry Chesser said he and the city council did not feel it was a good idea during a pandemic to host activities that would make social distancing challenging.
“In the past, we’ve had bouncy houses for kids, games and vendors, but we decided not to do that part this year,” said Chesser.
He said many people have already enjoyed the event from a distance in years’ past, watching the 20-minute fireworks display from their vehicles while parked in nearby lots.
“People watch the show from parking in lots, atop Lookout Mountain and everywhere else,” Chesser said.
He’s encouraging spectators to tune into one of four area radio stations who’ve pledged to play patriotic music during the fireworks show when it starts (hopefully) at 9 p.m. The stations are WZOB 1250 AM, WVSM 103.1 FM, Wild Country 98.3, or 101.7 The Torch.
“Folks can just tune in while safely sitting in their cars. It’ll be really good, inspiring music,” Chesser promised.
The fireworks show will present an opportunity for the community to come together in a safe way and celebrate a shared love for America.