The fourth of July will have a distinctly different look this year as most events and celebrations have been canceled due to the resurgence of the coronavirus.
The Lake Striker Resort had organized a huge event complete with vendors, a lighted boat parade, concert, and a fireworks display but decided after the Governor’s recent decision to halt the reopening of Texas business and the sudden spike in area COVID-19 cases that the socially conscious decision would be to cancel the evening’s celebration. In a recent Facebook post, a representative of the Lake Striker Resort said, “We have determined that the risk is too big to our community and vendors at this time to have a large event.”
The City of Henderson sent out a release on Monday confirming that its drive-in style fireworks show was canceled. “After careful consideration and deliberation by The City of Henderson, the 4th of July Fireworks Show has been canceled,” said Letti Goodrich, Communications and Marketing Coordinator for the City of Henderson in her afternoon press release. “This difficult decision was made in the best interests of the community. The health and safety of our community, coupled with the recent rise in numbers across the state and local region for COVID-19, is of utmost importance.”
The City of Overton Fireworks in the Park event is scheduled to continue. With more than a dozen food vendors, children’s activities, and music provided by DJ Portley, and huge a fireworks display near the Overton Lake, the evening has something entertaining for the whole family.
City officials have worked closely with the Rusk County Health Department to create safety protocols for those intending to attend the event.
Those rules and safety protocol include:
• The City will place signs throughout the park reminding attendees to practice social distancing and recommending the use of masks and gloves and the proper disposal thereof. City Staff will remind attendees to limit groups to no more than 10 people in a group and will have signs up that will be a reminder as well.
• Restroom facilities (including the portable toilets) will be cleaned and sanitized each hour.
• Hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes will be available throughout the park as well as on the shuttles. The shuttle will be disinfected after each trip.
• All children utilizing the wet inflatable and the obstacle inflatable will have temperature checks before playing. There will not be a bounce house at the event.
• The occupancy limit on inflatables will be reduced to 50 percent.
• The inflatables will be disinfected with sanitation spray periodically throughout the event.
• There will be a minimum of 10’ separation between each retail vendors and a 15’ separation between each food vendor and/or food truck. 6 ‘ space lines will be marked in front of each food vendor to remind people standing in line to practice social distancing.
• Mandated temperature checks of all food vendors and inspection of all foodservice facilities to ensure that COVID-19 safety protocols are in place before the event begins.
• Temperature checks will be performed on all City of Overton staff and volunteers working the event (before and during)
• Absolutely no self-service by attendees will be allowed, e.g. water bottles in ice chests, food, individual packets of condiments.
• Ice chests shall be on a constant drip to avoid water accumulation.