Officials with the Barnett Reservoir Foundation and the Pearl River Valley Water Supply District have announced that the annual Independence Celebration, featuring a dual fireworks show on each side of the 33,000-acre lake, has been canceled this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The foundation, a private non-profit organization that supports the district and promotes the reservoir area, including funding the annual fireworks show, voted at its June 1 meeting to cancel the June 27 event due to social distancing concerns.
“We hate having to take this action but there is no way we could stage this annual event safely and be compliant with current social distancing guidelines set by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Gov. Tate Reeves,” Foundation president Dale Shepherd said. “This is the foundation’s signature event each year that has become a tradition, drawing over 20,000 people into the reservoir area. Unfortunately, there is no possible way to control that many people in a manner that could keep them safe during the pandemic.”
Shepherd said that there is hope that the foundation can reschedule the fireworks at a later date this year. “We are looking at other dates and other events that would provide us the opportunity to do the fireworks and have fun events and live music at the two parks, Lakeshore and Old Trace,” he said.