COVID-19 Douses Independence Day Events, Except in Midlothian

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Mansfield fireworks
Most of the local 4th of July celebrations have been canceled, except in Midlothian. Photo by Amanda Rogers

Midlothian prides itself on being a quaint little town with a population of around 27,000. However, since they are doing something other surrounding towns are not, they may have a few more visitors this July 4th holiday season.

As others are canceling their respective July 4 events, Midlothian is moving forward with its annual celebration. The event include a fireworks show at 9:15 p.m. on July 3. It will be staged at the MISD Multi Purpose Stadium. And, as always, can be viewed from a variety of vantage points throughout the city.

Of course, the entire event will be held while maintaining coronavirus protocol, Midlothian Mayor Richard Reno said.

“The Annual Fireworks Show and Independence Day Parade are a great way to celebrate the birth of our nation while still taking precautions to keep our community safe,” he said. “The City of Midlothian is grateful to Citizens National Bank and the Community Development Corporation for their faithful support of this important national celebration.”

Although stadium seating is not open to the public, the stadium parking lot will be open for viewing purposes at 6 p.m.

As stated in the health guidelines for outdoor events during the COVID-19 pandemic, event-goers should avoid being in groups of more than 10 people and minimize contact with others not in the same household. If keeping a distance apart of at least 6 feet is not possible, wearing a cloth face covering is advised. If possible, view the show from inside the vehicle and do not gather with other groups.

Fireworks kick off Midlothian event

The fireworks are the start to the celebration. The next morning at 10, the parade “A Star-Spangled Salute” will be held in downtown Midlothian. Applications for the Midlothian parade are being accepted now and can be found on the city’s website at https://www.midlothian.tx.us/640/Midlothian-Independence-Day-Parade.

From DeSoto to Mansfield, COVID-19 has forced the cancellation of all July 4 activities, barring some last-minute changes.

After a discussion about possible solutions that would allow the event to continue in Duncanville, its canceled. Mayor Barry L. Gordon and the city council agreed that, while disappointing, it was in the best interests of public health and safety to cancel the event.

“It was a painful decision for us as a council,” Gordon said. “We understand how enjoyable this community event is. It’s a hallmark event for the city. Regrettably, extraordinary times require extraordinary measures. We regret we can’t have fireworks this year.

“We’ll do something bigger and better next year, hopefully.”

DeSoto and Lancaster alternate hosting July 4 festivities, and it was Lancaster’s turn this year – before COVID-19.

“COVID-19 has thrown a wrench into everything,” said Rebecca Lex, City of Lancaster Communications and Public Relations Coordinator. “It’s like 2020 never happened. We are looking forward to next year and a big event in 2021.”

Cedar Hill, Grand Prairie and Mansfield cancel events

Cedar Hill annually holds its July 4 event at the city pool, which is closed. Likewise for Red Oak and its annual Red Oak, White and Blue event.

Waxahachie has canceled its annual Crepe Myrtle Festival, typically held July 3 in connection with the holiday. At this time, no official decision has been made on a parade. However, Waxahachie Director of Communications and Marketing said it will likely also be canceled.

Ditto for Grand Prairie, said the city’s marketing supervisor for arts, parks and recreation Kelly Eddlemon.

Mansfield has also canceled its Rockin’ 4th event, with city officials releasing the following statement:

“After careful evaluation by city leaders, event organizers and emergency management, the city council decided to cancel the 2020 Rockin’ 4th of July event. Please know this was not a decision made lightly, but one made in the best interest of the health and safety of everyone involved.

“Rockin’ 4th is always an amazing night of community and celebration, but there is simply no way to proceed with the social distance and cleaning protocols necessary to comply with the state restrictions and public health best practices. We are disappointed but stand by the importance of protecting our community’s health so we can all be around to celebrate many more holidays together in the future.”

Mansfield fireworks
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