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Amid pandemic, a few Central Florida cities plan Independence Day fireworks

Leesburg City Manager Al Minner advised the City Commission to cancel the Fourth of July fireworks. They voted 3-2 to allow the event. Image: Lake Front TV

Update: The Leesburg Partnership has now canceled its event due to concerns about COVID-19

As the pandemic worsens, a few Central Florida cities are going ahead with fireworks for Independence Day.

Wildwood, Eustis and Leesburg will have their July 3rd or July 4th events. Groveland will have two strategically located displays that residents can watch from their homes.

Many cities have canceled, and some — like Tavares, Ormond Beach, New Smyrna Beach and Deltona — are postponing the fireworks, at least until the Labor Day weekend.

At a meeting Monday, Leesburg City Manager Al Minner said  that two weeks ago he didn’t see the fireworks as a COVID-19 issue. Now he does.

“As of this past weekend I would say you do have a Covid thing you need to be concerned about now,” he said. “And I think it is probably in the public’s interest not to do the fireworks.”

Commissioner Jay Hurley said they should not be like all those towns tha

t canceled fireworks.

“We have so many issues going on in our country right now to not celebrate our freedom and our independence and to put something on that brings us as a community back together,” Hurley said.

The commission voted 3-to-2 to allow the Leesburg Partnership’s lakeside event with slides, face-painting, booths, food vendors and a separate baseball game at the park.

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Joe Byrnes

About Joe Byrnes


Joe Byrnes came to WMFE/WMFV from the Ocala Star-Banner and The Gainesville Sun, where he worked as a reporter and editor for several years. Joe graduated from Loyola University in New Orleans and turned to journalism after teaching. He enjoys freshwater fishing and family gatherings.