SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) – “Fireworks in the Park,” an annual July 4th tradition for the City of Battlefield, is being canceled this year due to issues related to COVID-19.
The City of Battlefield website says the event is canceled due to COVID-19 issues. It usually takes place at Trail of Tears Park and attracts thousands.
Battlefield is one of several towns in Greene County that has a vaccination rate of just under 39% with an average of seven days of cases at 126 cases, according to the health department. Various communities in southwestern Missouri have reported a high number of hospitalizations for COVID-19 and an increase in COVID-19 cases due to the Delta variant.
Despite the numbers, many local Battlefield residents were disappointed that the event was canceled for the second year in a row.
“I was disappointed that it was canceled again. I have an eight year old daughter and she loves to see the fireworks. It has been a tradition, ”said resident Ashley Clark.
Many Battlefield residents told us they were frustrated the event was canceled due to COVID-19.
“People are trying to live their lives and recover from COVID and live normally. I feel like a group of people wishing to enjoy and celebrate July 4th should be allowed to do so. It could have happened for families, ”Clark said.
In response, Clark and his neighbors decided to get a permit from the city to shoot fireworks on Saturday night because the event was canceled.
“We got a permit from the city to close our street and tonight. We can at least have an exhibit for families to come together and celebrate Independence Day, ”Clark said.
Clark is a nurse and fully vaccinated. She encourages others to do the same, but still wants the city to host the event.
“I’m a nurse and pro-vaccine myself, but I still think the city could have had the show on the 4th,” Clark said.
Local health experts fear the July 4 weekend will create a spike in cases. Health officials continue to step up their immunization efforts.
In a recent Springfield-Greene County Health Department briefing, health officials told us there was absolutely a correlation between the low number of vaccines in the community and the spread. The Delta variant spreads faster and the symptoms are more severe, according to the health department.
The event usually brings together thousands of people to watch fireworks and brings the community together. The City of Battlefield website said they hope to be able to host “Fireworks in the Park” in 2022.
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