Fourth of July Weekend: What Some States Are Doing (and Not Doing)

Fourth of July Weekend: What Some States Are Doing (and Not Doing)

Sona Sulakian
 | 
We're heading into a holiday that typically involves large gatherings of people, laughter and overindulgence.

But this 4th of July is like no other we have experienced.

Tension is high over everything from race relations to mass unemployment to Coronavirus response strategies. 

Backyard gatherings will likely look different this year, and so are large events and gatherings that are usually sanctioned by states and cities. 

Below, we've listed how various cities and states are planning to handle 4th of July events and rituals.

The plans demonstrate just how differently people and officials across the country are reacting to the uptick in new Coronavirus cases. 

While some places are closing popular 4th of July destinations and banning common 4th of July activities, other cities are promoting the fact that social distancing and masks won't be required at certain places or events.  

Beaches

Open 
Southwest Florida beaches will remain open, including Fort Myers. So will beaches in counties on the East Coast, West Coast, and the Panhandle in Northwest Florida.

New York beaches have opened in time for Independence Day weekend. But, governors from New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut have expanded mandated 14-day self-quarantine for travelers from 16 high-risk states, including California. 

Charleston’s Myrtle Beach will also remain open, though health officials ask travelers to maintain social distancing. 

Closed 
All South Florida beaches will be closed for the fourth of July weekend, including Miami, Palm Beach, and Fort Lauderdale. In fact, Miami now requires people to wear masks or face coverings in public at all times. 

All state beaches will be closed in Los Angeles. Other counties will close beach parking but locals will be allowed on the beaches, including San Diego, San Francisco, Santa Barbara, and Sonoma. 

Texas’ Bexar county, which includes San Antonio, and the city of Galveston will also close their parks and beaches starting Friday. 

Firework Displays

Will happen
Among the fireworks shows that will go on as planned will be the Mount Rushmore show in South Dakota and the Macy’s fireworks show in New York City. However, the Macy’s show has been modified to occur in unannounced locations to avoid crowds.

President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump will be attending the Mount Rushmore celebration, which is expected to draw thousands. Masks will be provided at the event, but no social distancing measures will be enforced. Some tribal leaders are offended by the celebration and are calling for the removal of the national memorial.

Some cities have taken creative liberties with their fireworks shows. Seven Springs Mountain Resort in Champion, PA is setting up drive-in fireworks. West Palm Beach, FL and New York City are hosting multiple shows that can be seen from the home.

Several Los Angeles communities are planning live aerial flyovers, virtual fireworks and parades, and other activities to do at home.

Canceled
Across the country, about 80% of the traditional firework celebrations have been cancelled. Among the spectaculars canceled due to the pandemic are Big Bay Boom in San Diego, Lights on the Lake in Lake Tahoe, IPL Downtown Freedom Blast in Indianapolis, the Patriots Point Blast in Charleston, and the Legacy Blast in Lee’s Summit.

Baltimore has gone even furthered and canceled all large summer events until the end of August. Similarly, all fireworks shows, including local parades and festivals, have been canceled in the Bay Area

Los Angeles has canceled many of its traditional extravaganzas, including fireworks at Grand Park and at the Coliseum's Exposition Park, the Fourth of July "Mr. & Ms. Muscle Beach" in Venice, and the LA Galaxy's Annual Fourth of July Fireworks Show.

Seattle’s Seafair Events, including the Summer 4th, are postponed to 2021. Portland has also canceled its festivals, fireworks displays, and other large events. 

Virtual National Events You Can Participate In

If you want to stay home and play it safe, you can tune in to a variety of virtual national events. 

The Boston Pops Orchestra will play livestream as a tribute to frontline workers. 

Broadcast from Washington D.C., you can watch a special 40th anniversary celebration of A Capitol Fourth with hosts John Stamos and Vanessa Williams and performances ranging from Patti LaBelle to Trace Adkins. 

As an annual tradition, Washington’s National Archives will host a reading of the Declaration of Independence on the museum steps. 

In Los Angeles, Grand Park + The Music Center are hosting a virtual block party, which will include musical performances, comedy sketches, and more. 

Seattle is hosting 4 the Culture: A Celebration of All Black Lives, featuring live performances by KB Tha Genius, Alpha Patron, and others. Or you can tune in virtually to watch Celebrate Kirkland 4th of July for an “uplifting video experience” and a “montage of pyrotechnics.” 

You can learn more about the fight against slavery through the online Google Arts & Culture exhibit The Struggle for African American Freedom

The Welcome America Festival in Philadelphia is a weeklong virtual festival to celebrate diversity that includes a variety of cultural programming, history lessons for children, and family workout classes. The celebration will end on July 4 with performances by Jason Derulo and Cynthia Erivo. 

Willie Nelson’s 4th of July Picnic has become a virtual event, featuring performances by Willie Nelson & Family, Nathaniel Rateliff, Sheryl Crow, and Ziggy Marley. 

However you choose to spend your Independence Day weekend, stay safe and stay healthy!


This article is intended to convey generally useful information only and does not constitute legal advice. Any opinions expressed are solely those of the author, not LawChamps.
Sona Sulakian

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