The County of Hawaii canceled all county-sponsored Independence Day festivities because of COVID-19 concerns.
Mayor Harry Kim said Tuesday that the county’s usual July 4 events cannot be safely conducted without potentially spreading the coronavirus among attendees and must therefore be indefinitely postponed.
“Nobody wanted to have to do this,” Kim said. “But literally thousands of people go to the (Hilo) Bayfront for these events. There’s no way we can ensure that everything will be safe by next month. … This was the necessary thing to do.”
The county-sponsored July 4 events include the annual Hilo Bay Blast, involving a day of activities around Hilo Bayfront that culminates in a public fireworks display.
The Kailua-Kona Fourth of July Parade and Fireworks Extravaganza also were canceled for coronavirus concerns, as were the Parker Ranch Fourth of July Rodeo and Horse Races in Waimea.
Kim said he hopes some of the events can be rescheduled to later in the year, when the pandemic has eased and people can safely gather again.
“We’ll have a lot to celebrate when this is over,” Kim said.
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