As the summer event cancellations continue to pile up in the wake of public health concerns related to the coronavirus pandemic, there will still be Independence Day fireworks in Price County.
The Phillips Area Chamber of Commerce announced earlier this month fireworks would be held at dusk on July 4 and encouraged spectators to practice social distancing and watch from their vehicles or spread out in Bostrom Park, Elk Lake Park, and other viewing spots. The parade and other activities were canceled.
In Park Falls, the Friends of American Legion Post 182 and Park Falls Fire and Rescue received the go-ahead from the Board of Public Works to use the baseball field as a launching point for this year’s fireworks display. The parade and the downtown events were canceled to avoid mass gatherings.
Organizers in the two cities acknowledged the need for continued vigilance during an ongoing global pandemic that, with just two confirmed cases of COVID-19 locally, seems far away at times.
“We thank our businesses for adapting CDC guidelines, keeping both their employees and customers safe. We thank the employees that worked to provide our groceries, gasoline, pharmacy items, etc., and all front line workers. We also thank everyone that stayed home, are observing safe distancing, and are wearing facemasks when appropriate. All of this has contributed to our low case numbers,” reads a June 4 statement from Phillips Chamber director Laurie Hansen.
“The parade brings large crowds from other areas to downtown Phillips – a ‘mass gathering’ – which is strongly discouraged by the CDC guidelines, the Badger Bounce Back Plan, other state-wide organizations, and national scientific experts. These guidelines have also been adopted by Price County and the City of Phillips. We would be grossly irresponsible to ignore these guidelines and jeopardize the health of our citizens and visitors.”
In a public Facebook message on June 6, the Park Falls Legion said in part “Canceling the afternoon events was a heartbreaking decision to make because we truly love celebrating this event, giving back to our veterans (our special thank you for their sacrifices) by volunteering our time, and bringing our community together. We will greatly miss celebrating with all of you downtown, but we look forward to coming back stronger in July of 2021 and seeing all of you again.”
Organizers asked viewers to remain in vehicles, observe social distancing of six feet or more between individuals of different households, continuing practicing good hygiene, and staying home if sick, or utilizing a face covering.