COVID-19 impacts Columbia's Fire in the Sky celebration
COLUMBIA - The city's annual Fourth of July Fire in the Sky celebration will look different this year.
"Usually we have bands, food trucks, festivals, all kind of interactive events, inflatables, a lot of crafts for kids to do. None of that will occur this year. This year, we're only doing a fireworks show," Director of Columbia Parks and Recreation Mike Griggs said.
Griggs said this change is to make sure the department encourages Columbia residents to socially distance themselves, stay home and stay safe.
"This year, we know that we can't have 30,000 people come to one spot anymore," Griggs said.
The city also moved the location of the fireworks to display from downtown to Cosmo-Bethel Park. Griggs said he hopes this will allow more families to see the show from their own homes.
"But of course there's going to be obstructions: trees, buildings, valleys, and things like that. So, we did an average of about a 4-5 mile radius around Cosmo-Bethel Park where you should be able to see the fireworks, and that encompasses around 40-50,000 homes," Griggs said.
Griggs said the city does not want the public to try and come to the park to watch the fireworks show.
"In fact, that's what we want to discourage. We don't want people to go and think that they can go and park at Rock Bridge High School because there is no public parking," he said.
Griggs said the park and the grounds of Rock Bridge High School and Gentry Middle School will be closed to the public.
"Our goal is that people from all around Columbia will be able to see them from where they're at, from their home," he said.
According to a city news release, the fireworks show will begin at 9:15 p.m. and will be choreographed to music played on BXR 102.3.
Griggs said the show will last about 20 minutes.