Lewes July 4 fireworks and annual boat parade will have to wait a few weeks after officials postponed them until September.
“It’ll be a Labor Day party this year,” said Mayor Ted Becker.
Following a recommendation from the Go Fourth committee, Becker said, the fireworks and boat parade will be held Saturday, Sept. 5. Of course, Becker said, if the number of COVID-19 cases increases and there is a concern for public health, the Labor Day plans could be changed.
Already, he said, St. Peter’s Art Show and Old-Fashioned Children’s Games have been canceled until next year.
The Go Fourth Lewes Fireworks Committee postponed the Fourth of July fireworks due to the statewide state of emergency, which mandates social distancing and limits large gatherings, said Debra Evalds, co-chairwoman of communications for Go Fourth Lewes. Rather than canceling the fireworks altogether, the Sept. 5 event falls on Labor Day weekend, the unofficial end of summer, she said.
“We are limited on how we start this summer because of the state of emergency, but we hope to ring out the summer of 2020 with a bang! We are determined to give Lewes a community fireworks show this year. We will still have our celebration on the beach and welcome Locals Summer instead of celebrating July 4th. The people of Lewes need a celebration and something to look forward to,” Evalds said.
Evalds said the Go Fourth Lewes committee waited as long as they could to reschedule and hoped to hold fireworks on July 4. No deposit was lost by postponing, rather than canceling, she said.
Based on current information, social distancing and restrictions on crowds will likely be in place well into the summer, Evalds said. Some Lewes residents also communicated concerns to the city about holding a large event, even an outside event, during the current health situation, said Russ Palmer, chairman of Go Fourth Lewes.
“We listened to the concerns of our neighbors about bringing large crowds into Lewes at this time,” Palmer said. “We had to follow the state of emergency, and we also had to consider the safety of our community. This is a way we can respect both while giving a great gift to the people of Lewes.”
Labor Day fireworks depend on reopening
The Sept. 5 date still depends on the successful reopening of Delaware by the end of the summer, Palmer said. A date late in summer was chosen to give the best chance that the restrictions on large events would be lifted by Labor Day. Go Fourth is determined to unite Lewes neighbors on the beach for fireworks and has high hopes this event will happen, Palmer said. Updates will be distributed via the Go Fourth Lewes Facebook page and at gofourthlewes.org.
Founded in 2017, Go Fourth Lewes is a volunteer committee formed to present a community-funded fireworks show on Lewes Beach on July 4 every year.
While the committee works in collaboration with the city and Lewes Chamber of Commerce, the fireworks are not a city- or chamber-funded event. All funds are provided by local residents and businesses through private fundraising, and donation information is on the website.