The city of Athens will be having a socially distant fireworks display this year for the Fourth of July.
The fireworks will be viewable at the end of East State Street, along with other areas like the practice fields on Stimson Avenue and stops along Route 50. The fireworks display will begin at 10 p.m. on July 3 and last around 30 to 45 minutes. Viewers can tune into Power 105.5 for music during the event.
Athens Mayor Steve Patterson said the health department approved of the event, and it is safe if people follow the typical social distancing precautions.
If You Go:
What: Fireworks Display
Where: Viewable at the end of East State Street
When: July 3 at 10 p.m.
“The health department's position is that it's an outdoor event, and as long as people are practicing proper social distancing and wearing masks … and no groups of greater than 10 unrelated people,” Patterson said.
Patterson said families tend to go and stick together, and the city has many areas where people are able to view.
Patterson said people will have to use proper judgment, and know that is not safe to gather in groups outside of their household. The biggest enforcement of social distancing, Patterson said, is self policing and self monitoring.
“We're relying on people to be smart in the time of COVID-19,” Patterson said.
Although the city will be having fireworks, there are many other outdoor events that have been canceled this year due to the crowds that typically come with them, including Ohio Brew Week’s Last Call and Bounty on the Bricks.
According to “Exploding Into Independence Day: States That Use The Most Fireworks,” the state of Ohio is quite fond of fireworks and imports 26,514,838 fireworks per year, enough for each resident to shoot off an average of 2.3 each.
This year, all types of Fourth of July celebrations will look different due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Patterson said the most important aspect this year will be following social distancing and protection guidelines.
“The biggest thing is … you must practice social distancing, and you must wear a mask,” Patterson said.