Tags: Coronavirus | independence day | celebrations | july 4 | fourth | fireworks | pandemic

July 4 Celebrations Altered With Virus Cases Increasing

fireworks explode over the national mall in washington, d.c.
(Luis M. Alvarez/AP)

By    |   Thursday, 02 July 2020 04:44 PM

Independence Day celebrations will be noticeably different this year – from parades turned into car caravans to virtual fireworks displays, as fears of a resurgent novel coronavirus outbreak has resulted in local governments reimposing restrictions to limit public gatherings.

Although Huntington Beach, California, will keep its beaches open, it will reduce its Fourth of July parade, held annually since 1904 with marching bands and floats, to two caravans of cars snaking through the city, The Wall Street Journal reported.

"We decided that despite the challenges we have with COVID, there must be a way to continue that tradition and keep the spirit alive," Huntington Beach community services manager Chris Cole said.

Philadelphia, the birthplace of the United States where the Declaration of Independence was drafted and adopted in 1776, has been staging online events since last weekend that will climax Saturday with a streamed concert and videos depicting historical re-enactments.

The altered celebrations come as the number of daily confirmed coronavirus cases in the United States reached a high of 51,097 on Wednesday, continuing a trend since that number was at 18,933 on June 7. However, it also comes as daily deaths continue to show a declining trend, falling to 676 on Wednesday after peaking at 2,749 on April 21.

Among the efforts to keep people from congregating in large numbers, but still maintain some sense of the holiday, New York City has been staging the popular Macy's fireworks displays in five-minute presentations throughout the week in unannounced locations. The grand finale, usually set off from barges in the East River between Manhattan and the boroughs of Queens and the Bronx, this year will be set off over the Empire State Building in midtown Manhattan and televised nationally on NBC with musical performances.

Los Angeles and San Francisco have canceled their fireworks displays, claiming health issues, and smaller municipalities that are continuing with their pyrotechnic shows are encouraging residents to remain in their cars or watch from near their homes.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott banned most gatherings of more than 100 people as well as all rafting and tubing operations.

President Donald Trump, however, will oversee two of the more public celebrations, including an event at Mount Rushmore in South Dakota on Friday, complete with fireworks, and a more modest version Saturday of the traditional celebration in the nation's capital with military flyovers across the National Mall and a 35-minute fireworks display.

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Independence Day celebrations will be noticeably different this year, from parades turned into car caravans to virtual fireworks displays, as fears of a resurgent novel coronavirus outbreak has resulted in local governments reimposing restrictions to limit public gatherings.
independence day, celebrations, july 4, fourth, fireworks, pandemic, social distancing
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2020-44-02
Thursday, 02 July 2020 04:44 PM
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