Georgetown City Council decided to cancel its Fourth of July celebration citing concerns surrounding the coronavirus June 23.
All other Fourth of July activities put on by the Georgetown Sertoma Club in San Gabriel Park had already been canceled, but the council decided to also cancel its fireworks show. The Sertoma Club, a nonprofit that works to improve lives of those with hearing and speech issues, and the city put on the Fourth of July event together with Sertoma planning activities, food and vendors and the city providing the fireworks display.
“As much as I would hate to cancel Independence Day, it just seems like there’s just too much risk for this,” Mayor Dale Ross said.
While the council was provided with two other options, including turning the event into a drive-in show or one in which the park is closed but the fireworks display would continue to allow people to watch from other locations, council members feared it would just encourage other large gatherings, and it would be difficult to enforce. They also noted that with other fireworks displays canceled in the surrounding area, it would encourage other non-Georgetown residents to gather in the city.
“We’re seeing the number of cases rise [and] maybe heading into a different place than we had been in the last few weeks, so I think we just need to react appropriately,” Georgetown City Manager David Morgan said.
Personal fireworks are also not permitted within the city limits, Morgan said.
The decision comes on the day Williamson County added 87 cases and reported its highest number of hospitalizations yet related to the coronavirus with 24. The county reported a total of 1,498 confirmed cases.
The council will discuss further summer events such as Movie in the Park, Music on the Square and even Popptoberfest—the city’s reschedule of April’s annual Red Poppy Festival—at a later time, officials said.