Fourth of July celebrations will be a bit dimmer this year, as COVID-19 has led to the cancellation of most area fireworks shows and Independence Day events.
In fact, Madison, Ridgeland and the Barnett Reservoir Foundation have all made the decision to cancel July Fourth events this year.
The city of Jackson still plans to host its annual Jackson Fireworks Extravaganza on Saturday, June 27 at Smith-Wills Stadium located at 1200 Lakeland Dr. However, this year visitors are asked to remain in their vehicles during the show to keep a safe social distance.
Gates will open at 6 p.m., according to the Jackson Parks and Recreation Department, which puts on the show each year. Fireworks will start when the sun goes down.
Typically, the city of Ridgeland’s Fourth of July event includes gathering for live music, watching hot air balloons at sunset and rounding out the night with a fireworks display.
This year, due to coronavirus, the parks department had to cancel the annual Celebrate America Balloon Glow and fireworks show.
The same is true for the city of Madison, as the annual fireworks show in Liberty Park has been canceled for 2020.
Barnett Reservoir Foundation and Pearl River Valley Water Supply District (PRVWSD) officials have also announced the cancellation of the 2020 Independence Day Celebration which was scheduled for June 27.
The Barnett Reservoir Foundation voted at a recent meeting to cancel the annual event, which features a dual fireworks show on each side of the lake, due to COVID-19.
Foundation President Dale Shepherd said it is currently impossible for the foundation to move forward with the event safely and in compliance with social distancing guidelines set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Gov. Tate Reeves.
However, there is hope that the fireworks show could still go on at a later date or during another event with live music and fireworks at both Lakeshore and Old Trace Park.
Participants in the Farm Bureau Watermelon Classic will still lace up their running shoes in preparation for the annual 5K. However, runners will not line up at the start line to race together.
The Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame recently announced that the race, which is one of its largest annual fundraisers, will take place as a virtual event for 2020.
Participants are able to choose a 5K Run or a 5K Walk and complete the race in their own time at the location of their choosing.
The event will continue to benefit the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum, a 501(c)3 organization, and its programs in the community.
Registration is now open, and the $25 fee will include an official 2020 T-shirt, a finisher’s award and a virtual event bag with coupons and promotions from supporting businesses. After registering, participants will receive more detailed information regarding the event.
The race will be open to be completed throughout the next month. After completing the run, participants can upload their race results through the race platform.
Registration will close July 4.
To register, visit msfame.com/2020watermelon.
For more information about the event, contact the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum at 601-982-8264 or visit msfame.com.