This 4th of July will certainly look different from years past. “Independence Day is a day of unity across the US, we could really use that this year,” says Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s top independent homeowners insurance agency.
Closings and Cancellations
Anxiety over coronavirus and the civil unrest over systemic racism in our country has many people on edge and a unified celebration would be welcome. However, with coronavirus surging in Florida, many municipal Independence Day activities, such as parades and fireworks displays are modified or cancelled. Some beaches across the state are closing as well.
Nevertheless, do not let the cancellations get you down. Not all activities are quashed. Before making any plans, check to see what is open. Location openings and closings and scheduled events change daily.
To check your local beach openings, see the following link.
For state parks checkout the website: https://www.floridastateparks.org/
Community social networking pages are a good resource to find out what is happening in your area.
Whether you enjoy them or despise them, fireworks are having a moment. According to NBC News, fireworks sellers expected to see a 20 to 50 percent drop in sales this year due to COVID-19. However, some fireworks stores are experiencing a 200 percent plus increase in sales. Sellers attribute the spike to boredom.
This year, Gov. DeSantis signed a bill making fireworks legal on July 4th, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. Florida’s fireworks law defines “fireworks” as everything that goes into the air or explodes.
Also, The National Safety Council urges never re-light a malfunctioning firework and keep a bucket of water nearby to fully extinguish fireworks that do not work.
If you prefer someone else oversee the fireworks display, you can watch NBC’s Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks from New York at 8-10 p.m.
PBS is broadcasting A Capitol Fourth from D.C. at 8-9:30p.m. Both shows will include live performances as well as fireworks. Many local firework shows will be streamed live on Facebook.
Social Distance Celebration
If you are not ready to be around crowds, you can enjoy a fun and safe celebration from home. Host a family 4th of July run or bike ride. Race bibs and medals are available online and do not forget prizes to motivate the family.
An Outdoor movie or games such as badminton and corn-hole or turning on the sprinkler can provide fun.
If you decide to host a cook-out, the following are tips to keep everyone healthy.
- Smaller is better
- Stay outside as much as possible
- Keep plenty of hand sanitizer around
- Provide drinks from individual bottles and cans
- Use disposable utensils and plates
- Designate one person to cook at the grill
- Offer individually wrapped and packaged snacks, condiments and desserts
- Place trash cans around
While this Independence Day we might have to sacrifice our usual traditions, it is still a day to be thankful. Enjoy, celebrate and stay safe.