TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Since the pandemic, July 4 celebrations have been up in the air.
Many of the local shows draw large crowds to one central location, making it hard to practice social distancing.
Including the celebration in Oro Valley that typically draws 5,000, according to the Oro Valley Parks and Recreation Department.
Which is why they are one of the first municipalities to say no to spectators and ask everyone to stay home.
“Giving the social distancing that’s necessary today and likely in July it’s virtually impossible to host any sort of event with those numbers,” said Kristy Diaz-Trahan, director of parks and recreation. “The good news is that we are still planning an epic firework show from the Community and Recreation Center. We will be using larger shells that will soar higher into the night sky.”
“We really wanted to host a July 4th celebration this year. This community needs it, but ultimately the decision is about public safety,” Diaz-Trahan said.
This year the town’s fireworks show will launch from the Community and Recreation Center. To assist with the “oohs and aahs” the town will be using larger fireworks so they are more widely visible from around town. Though we may not be able to gather in one location this year, we can still gather as a community under the same sky and celebrate safely from our own homes.
Other shows are starting to follow their lead.
Andy Squire with the City of Tucson said they’re going ahead with the 'A' Mountain celebration but still going over options on how to view it. Squire said they are working through how they will manage the parking and viewing at the Tucson Convention Center and other vacant lots owned by the city and private parties.
They plan to adhere to the social distancing guidelines and are looking at a drive-in type situation where every other space is occupied. Squire said they are going to keep an eye on conditions for the next two weeks as they finalize a plan.
The town of Marana is in the same boat. Vic Hathaway said the town is going forward with fireworks but still working out the final details.
For some residents, it won’t be much of a change. Like Joanie Rooker who already watched them in years past from her mother’s house.
“Hopefully we’ll be able to see them from her house now that they’re going to do them from the community center,” Rooker said.
And most will agree, any celebration is better than none at all.
"As a community that is used to having a wonderful celebration we still wanted to be able to provide something to our residents," said Dias-Trahan.
Thursday night was not only to make sure everything was safe from the launching area but for residents.
So if you couldn’t see the fireworks tonight, the town suggests finding a friend’s house or restaurant with a closer view.