A popular Independence Day tradition has been cancelled in Pike County.
Because of the outbreak of covid-19 in other cities, statewide, organizers are pulling the plug on the fireworks display at Lake Wallenpaupack.
Tourism officials call the decision difficult, but add safety remains the top priority.
For Sarah O’Fee, the firework display at Lake Wallenpaupack draws huge crowds which fares well for businesses in the lake region.
“Everyone loves fireworks on the fourth of July. Our guests look forward to it, we look forward to it.
But there will no big bangs going off this Independence Day. The firework display has been cancelled.
“You cannot be too cautious when it comes to health and peoples livelihoods. “
Officials urge people to stay away from large gatherings during traditionally the busiest holiday of the year, which happens to fall on the busiest day of the week – Saturday.
“We want people to enjoy being able to celebrate this very patriotic holiday and our independence, but we also want people to not have to worry about compromising their own health. “
Hamill calls the decision difficult, but points out after the uptick in covid-19 cases in other cities, it’s better to be cautious.
“We don’t want residents to feel as if we are putting their health in jeopardy by having too many people come to one place at one time. “
O”fee agrees, she fears that any unnecessary risks at this time could result in more restrictions down the road.
“It’s not going to interrupt the fun of summer, but it was just a little something extra to top it off. “
And for Hamill, small sacrifices like these are critical to avoid any major setbacks.
“That would really be difficult for people to endure, they already endured so much, that we don’t want to lose that progress and look forward while moving forward and getting back to some kind of normal. “
Organizers hope to reschedule the fireworks for a later date this summer.