City Cancels Fourth of July Fireworks Display May 20, 2020

The City of Coos Bay staff had hoped that by July the impact of the COVID–19 pandemic would have diminished enough by July 4 to allow the community to celebrate the nation’s independence with the annual “Fireworks Over the Bay” display. However, it is now evident that social distancing and other safeguards intended to slow or stop the spread of the disease will still be necessary.

The “Fireworks Over the Bay” display has been a local highlight of the holiday for decades. Hundreds or perhaps thousands of people congregate along the Coos Bay’s waterfront at dusk to witness the pyrotechnic show. It is this public gathering that is of concern. Maintaining social distancing standards would not possible and the City Council believes that it would be irresponsible for the City to host an event that puts the health of our community at risk. Therefore, City Council voted Tuesday night to cancel the July Fourth fireworks show for 2020.

On May 14, Governor Kate Brown signed and released, through Executive Order 20-25, a phased approach to removing the restrictions that were put in place to limit the spread of COVID–19. Coos County is currently in Phase 1 and may be eligible to enter Phase 2 no earlier than June 5. Mass gatherings such as major concerts, sporting events with live audiences, or Coos Bay’s “Fireworks Over the Bay” event will only be allowed in the confines of Phase 3; after a vaccine and a reliable treatment is readily available.

City staff has been directed to find an alternative way to celebrate this national holiday while conforming to the COVID-19 restrictions and protecting public health.   

COURTESY PHOTO-The World Newspaper