The disruptions related to coronavirus and stay-at-home precautions continue affecting July 4 celebrations in Minnesota. The oft-crowded affairs featuring fireworks, parades, and other public gatherings around the state continue to see events called off and promises of returning strong in 2021.
In April, the Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board announced widespread cancellations for summer programming, which included the Red, White & Boom Fireworks over downtown. (St. Paul stopped doing fireworks altogether two years ago.)
Many smaller communities have followed suit. Edina announced its 4th of July parade was going virtual, and there are alternatives being considered for fireworks and other events. Stillwater has canceled both the 4th of July fireworks and its annual Lumberjack Days. Eagan’s July 4th Funfest is also canceled.
Since many of these events also serve as fundraisers for civic organizations, the sting is felt well beyond the attendees. For example, Afton’s now-canceled annual 4th of July Parade and Celebration “raises about $3,500 in beer and wine sales for the Afton Historical Museum,” according to the Pioneer Press.
The Excelsior-Lake Minnetonka Chamber of Commerce announced that the 2020 Lake Minnetonka Fourth of July Celebration has been canceled, as well. “Revenue streams that normally support his event are non-existent due to the response of the pandemic,” said Jen Weiss, the chamber’s community relations & membership director, in a press release.
In St. Joseph, a 4th of July parade is usually part of the two-day Joetown Rocks festivities. St. Joseph mayor Rick Schultz announced the events are canceled, noting, “As the landscape for this plight changes, events might be permitted if the circumstances permit and safety procedures can be enacted.”
As we hear of more updates and changes, we will update this post.