We've been seeing it happen all over the west coast and country in the past couple of weeks, and now it's official here as well: McCall announced they'll be excluding fireworks from their 4th of July celebration.

I was sent a press release that says:
McCALL, Idaho (May 27, 2020) -- The McCall Area Chamber of Commerce
and the City of McCall announced that Fourth of July celebration plans
for the popular mountain destination will not include fireworks this
year due to crowd health and safety concerns. Instead, the community
is planning several new and safe events that include a drive-in
concert with local favorite Jeff Crosby, drive-in movies, a patriotic
boat brigade, a light-up caravan, and more for the holiday weekend.

"It is really disappointing to not host the fireworks show on Payette
Lake this year," Lisa Johnson, McCall Area Chamber event committee
chair, says. "But the health and safety of our community and guests is
our primary focus."

Without a viewing space where adequate social distancing and
hand-sanitizing stations can be provided, the decision was made to
skip the fireworks for one year in favor of alternative events that
can meet health and safety guidelines for public gatherings to prevent
the spread of COVID-19.

Local leaders say this decision was not made lightly. The McCall Area
Chamber and City of McCall conducted a survey to gather sentiment
regarding hosting a fireworks show this year. Of the 838 respondents,
51.6 percent were in favor of a show while 47.5 percent were not in
favor or not sure. Planning meetings were held by the McCall Area
Chamber, the City of McCall, local law enforcement, and local health
officials to review public health and safety protocols needed for
large-scale events.

Alternate locations to allow for better social distancing were
researched, but none met both fire and crowd safety criteria.

"With regard to fireworks this year, it is my opinion that we cannot,
in good conscience, promote an event that jeopardizes public health by
going against all social distancing and medical recommendations,"
Justin Williams, McCall chief of police, says. "This risk is simply
too high."

"The annual fireworks show is just one aspect of the way our community
celebrates the Fourth of July," Lindsey Harris, director of the McCall
Area Chamber, says. "This year, we will still be celebrating freedom
and our country. We will just be doing it in a different way that
better protects our people and our community."

Together, the McCall Area Chamber and City of McCall are working on
new events, including a drive-in concert with Jeff Crosby, a drive-in
movie, costume contests, a family fun pack, a patriotic boat brigade
and a light-up caravan. More details, including a full schedule of
events, will be released in early June.

So, there's not going to be fireworks, but there will be tons of other things happening! We can choose to dwell on the things we're missing, or get excited about the things that will happen instead.

I'm choosing the latter. Drive-in movies and concerts?! Count me in.

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