City announces changes to annual fireworks show to encourage social distancing, public safety
The city of Vicksburg’s annual fireworks show is still scheduled, but city officials on Wednesday announced changes to the event they believe will make it safer for spectators during the COVID-19 pandemic.
During his press conference Wednesday, Mayor George Flaggs Jr. said the event will now be held from 8 to 10 p.m. at the city’s riverfront, with musical entertainment from 8 to 9 p.m. and the fireworks show itself beginning at 9 p.m.
South Ward Alderman Alex Monsour Jr., who manages the departments organizing the annual show, said the decision to shorten the event was made early Wednesday and done with public safety in mind.
“There is so much room to spread out and still see the show,” Monsour said. “We felt this was the best idea to shorten the exposure of the public and to still make sure the show could still be held.”
In addition to shortening the time of the event and encouraging those attending the show to wear masks, the city will not provide any seating this year near the stage area on Levee Street. The city is encouraging residents to remain in their vehicles if possible to enhance social distancing between people.
“After the program is complete, we ask that everyone disburse as quickly as possible,” Flaggs said.
In early May, when city officials approved the contract for the fireworks show, Monsour said the show was important to the city overall and to the businesses in downtown Vicksburg.
“I’m for getting the revenue back in the city, and I’m for shops downtown. We’ve got to find a way to traffic down there to it, and this is one of the best ways to do it,” Monsour said during the May 8 meeting where the Board of Mayor and Aldermen approved the contract. “I want people to be all downtown, spread out regular distance apart, and be able to go out and enjoy something since this pandemic.”
The contract for the show, which totals $45,000, is with Pyroman of Campti, La. The contract has two extra clauses allowing the city to postpone the event or cancel the show without penalty if it is unable to pay for the event.
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