Door County, Wis. (May 12, 2020) — It is with great disappointment that the communities of Door County have announced that 4th of July festivities have been canceled throughout the county, including fireworks celebrations in Baileys Harbor, Egg Harbor, Sturgeon Bay, Maplewood, and Gills Rock. This includes parades in Baileys Harbor and Egg Harbor and Freedom Fest on July 11 in Sister Bay.
This decision comes only after careful consideration and consultation with all communities, municipal boards, business associations, stakeholders, emergency services, and the Door County Public Health Department. Ultimately, each community decided that concern for the health and safety of our visitors, residents, vendors, and our health care workers is more important than our desire to celebrate in mass gatherings.
This was an incredibly difficult decision for our communities to reach. Celebrating our independence, our communities, and our neighbors is something we look forward to every year, and we know it’s something our visitors and businesses look forward to as well. But in a time of social distancing, we can’t responsibly encourage thousands of people to congregate in environments that are impossible to police and therefore are following the guidelines laid out for “outdoor events” by the WEDC.
This in no way should lessen the meaning of the day, and we urge everyone to celebrate the spirit of our nation’s heritage in a manner in which you feel comfortable.
Public safety was, and will always be, the primary factor in this decision, but not the only one. We rely on donors to fund our 4th of July events and fireworks shows and it takes time to collect those funds, order supplies, and prepare for festivities. Given the present economic climate, we did not feel that it was appropriate to ask our businesses and residents to donate when most are experiencing extreme financial hardship. We also don’t feel it’s appropriate to ask our public works crews, firefighters, police officers, and first responders to put themselves at greater risk than necessary.
Our communities will do everything we can to make these celebrations better than ever in 2021.