Cambridge cancels July 4 fireworks

CAMBRIDGE — Independence Day celebrations will have to do without the traditional fireworks this year, at least in Cambridge. On Thursday evening, a statement from the city government announced a decision to cancel the display.

“It is with great disappointment we are announcing the 4th of July fireworks have been canceled due to the COVID-19 health crisis,” the statement said.

It was determined this type of event falls into the Stage 3 category of Governor Larry Hogan’s Roadmap to Recovery. “Large social gatherings“ are in the Stage 3 high-risk category.

Maryland entered the governor’s sub-phase 2 of Stage 1 on Friday.️ “The city had to make a decision on the fireworks contract by June 1 or risk losing the city’s deposit; therefore, we had to unfortunately decide now to cancel the show,” the statement said.

Readers responded to the news, shared on the Banner’s Facebook page.

Courtney Willey wrote, “I know it would be hard, but couldn’t they do it somehow where everyone stays in their cars and watches?”
Shannon Chambers responded, “If only people could follow those simple directions, but they wouldn’t.”

The matter had been discussed during the City Council’s meeting on May 26, when a decision was made to hold the display, pending approval of County Health Officer Roger Harrell.

“There were many points of view regarding the matter, both pro and con, and how it could be done safely,” Commissioner Steve Rideout recalled. “The County Health Officer was opposed to it as was the police chief while the fire chief was in favor. We also heard from the City Attorney about what the governor’s plan required. My motion to not hold the fire works on the 4th did not receive a second and so was not considered. Commissioner Foster moved to have the fire works with the approval of the County Health Officer, and it received a second.”

“I argued that we already knew what the County Health Officer felt should happen,” Mr. Rideout writes in this week’s “Cambridge Matters” column.

“The vote proceeded and resulted in a vote of 4-1 to hold it on the condition of the approval of the County Health Officer. Mine was the only ‘no’ vote.”
Mr. Rideout’s full remarks on this topic and other discussed in the meeting can be found on page 20 of the June 3 edition.