The decision to cancel the event was made in regular consultation with Dr. Joe Anzaldua, the city of Sugar Land’s local health authority, a June 22 release from the city stated.
“With our Fourth of July event regularly attracting about 20,000 people, an in-person event is simply not safe this year,” Anzaldua said in the release. “Due to the uncertainty of asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic COVID-19 transmission, I strongly advise against large gatherings unless social distancing can be enforced. This just isn’t possible with an event of this nature. Many other cities in our region have come to the same conclusion after working closely with my peers in the medical community."
According to the release, the celebration will take place July 4 at 8 p.m. and will consist of a prerecorded video featuring local residents, businesses and city staff sharing their community pride. The program will then feature video footage from previous years' events and fireworks finales.
Individuals and groups are invited to send in short videos reciting the United States and Texas pledges for inclusion in the July 4 video. Videos should be filmed in landscape mode and sent to [email protected] by 5 p.m. on June 25, according to the release.
Sugar Land will also offer patriotic take-home party packages for residents stocked with decorating supplies, patriotic accessories, crafts and activities. Guides and brochures to Sugar Land businesses providing curbside pickup and delivery will also be included.
Packages will be available for $8 plus tax, according to the release. Packages can be preordered at www.sugarlandtx.gov/july4, and they will be available for pickup by appointment June 29 through July 2 from 8 a.m.-8 p.m. at the Imperial Park Recreation Center, 234 Matlage Way, Sugar Land.
“Our ‘Red, White and Boom’ event is a spectacular annual tradition for our city to gather together with family, friends and neighbors to celebrate the Fourth of July, and making the decision to cancel in-person activities this year was extremely difficult,” City Manager Michael Goodrum said in the release. “Ultimately, the safety of Sugar Land residents and visitors is the most important factor in all of our decisions during these unprecedented times, and we hope that the community will understand this decision and join us virtually this year.”