Officials recommend that residents celebrate in small groups and light legal fireworks only in designated areas
The City of Davis announced that the annual Fourth of July fireworks and festivities will be canceled this year due to COVID-19. Management Analyst in the City Manager’s Office Carrie Dyer says the city is brainstorming ways for the community to celebrate in safer, smaller ways.
“We need to monitor our public health guidelines,” Dyer said. “But we will be looking to put out some information on our website with some recommendations as to how people can safely celebrate.”
Other COVID-19-safe events have already been announced. For example, Matchbook Wine Company is hosting an event on July Fourth where customers can enjoy a meal with local food truck Yolo Eats and dessert from I Scream Yogurt. The Listen Hear band will play live music throughout the day.
Events and Wine Club Director at Matchbook Wine Company Anna Sargent described how they will operate outdoors to ensure safety.
“We serve people at their table; they can go up to the truck to order their food,” Sargent said. “They have to wear masks when they’re not seated at their table.”
Sargent detailed that the seatings will include 35 outdoor tables and have space for around 130 people. Customers will have a two and a half hour time limit, after which the tables will be disinfected in time for the second seating.
“We give our staff half an hour to clear all the tables, wipe everything down, disinfect everything,” Sargent said.
Dyer emphasized that all fireworks are prohibited in Davis, unless they are in a show put on professionally. The City Council may authorize pyrotechnical displays controlled by qualified individuals, but this year the city has decided against holding a show.
Battalion Chief of West Plainfield Fire District Fire Commission, a fire district in Yolo County, Eric L. Wilson said that all fireworks in unincorporated Yolo County are illegal. He recommended that people celebrate in safe, small gatherings with vaccinated family members only.
“Fireworks are a hazard for the things that are dry and it will burn, but they also present a hazard to completely unrelated things,” Wilson said. “Even a nuisance fire such as a small roadside grass fire takes resources away.”
Wilson pointed out that Yolo County has a number of areas that allow for safe and sane fireworks that are approved by the state of California, including West Sacramento. Safe and sane fireworks do not leave the ground or fly up in the air, according to Wilson.
Wilson asked residents to be very cautious and recommends enjoying the Fourth of July without fireworks due to fire concerns.
“This is a very dry fire season; last year was the worst fire season record in the state of California,” Wilson said.
Written by: Ellie Lee — firstname.lastname@example.org