Montgomery County Cancels Fourth of July Fireworks Displays

All public firework displays have been canceled for Montgomery County ahead of July Fourth due to ongoing coronavirus concerns.

With social distancing and other restrictions still in effect to try and reduce the virus’ spread, many anticipated events have/are being canceled to avoid potential risk. July Fourth is only the latest in a list of happenings that have been forced to change because of the pandemic.

Many local communities have canceled their celebrations in recent weeks, though Dr. Earl Stoddard, the director of the county’s Office of Emergency Management and Homeland Security, spoke about the county as a whole Wednesday during the reopening Montgomery media briefing—hosted by County Executive Marc Elrich and County Health Officer Dr. Travis Gayles.

“The Fourth of July is coming up, there will be no public fireworks displays, but we are working on some activities to recognize the holiday,” Stoddard said.

Additionally, Montgomery County Fire and Rescue personnel and other city officials are warning residents against attempting displays of their own in lieu of county celebrations. Private use of fireworks—or sparklers—is illegal in Montgomery County.

“We don’t want to see injuries at home because people are trying to replicate public fireworks displays in their backyards,” Stoddard said. “It is absolutely a safety risk. Our Fire and Rescue staff have spoken about it, and I just want to reiterate that message.”

Residents of Montgomery County are not the only ones who are going without fireworks this Independence Day, other areas in Maryland and throughout the country have canceled their celebrations as well. While the colorful displays have become one of the most notable elements to the Fourth of July, there are still other ways to commemorate the day. One thing this pandemic has shown us is our ability to adapt.

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About Tori Bergel

Tori Bergel is an intern at Montgomery Community Media. She is a rising senior within the Philip Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland. She can be reached at tbergel@mymcmedia.org. Follow her on twitter at @BergelTori.

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