Cities across central Alabama change Fourth of July plans to follow COVID-19 guidelines

Local News

BIRMINGHAM, Ala (WIAT) — Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and social distancing guidelines, Fourth of July is going to look very different this year.

Cities like Birmingham, Alabaster, and Tuscaloosa are still planning a fireworks show but all other activities have been canceled this year in order to keep everyone safe.

Alabaster’s fireworks show is happening on 9 p.m. Thursday at Thompson High School.

Alabaster Parks and Recreation director Tim Hamm said that in the future, they want to see the Fourth of July be more of an all-day event with vendors, food trucks, and bouncy houses for kids. However, this year,they’re sticking to just the fireworks show and moved it to the new high school so people could park from a distance and watch the fireworks.

“We want everything to be as normal as it can be. People have been cooped up, no new sports going on, and this whole spring people have been staying at home. This is just a way to get out and enjoy a little bit of time outside and still feel like you can keep yourself safe and comfortable and enjoy fireworks like we try to do every year,” Hamm said.

In Birmingham, Vulcan Park and Museum will be having their annual Thunder on the Mountain Saturday.

LaShana Sorrell with Vulcan Park and Museum said that when COVID-19 first hit the state, they waited a while before announcing if the show would continue.

Sorrell said they felt it was important to still put on a show and have a strong message to everyone on this Independence Day.

“I think this show has a meaning. As you know, Vulcan, for one, stands for all of Birmingham and he’s here as the unifying symbol so when people look to Vulcan, we want to make sure that they know we’re here, we’re a sign of resiliency and that’s what this show is about. It’s a celebration of hope and all that Vulcan has insteered in our hopes and goals,” Sorrell said.

Sorrell said the show is dedicated to health care workers and essential workers who have been on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic.

Thunder on the Mountain will be at 9 p.m. Saturday.

Tuscaloosa is also having a Fourth of July fireworks show, but canceled all other activities in the their Celebration on the River event. The fireworks show starts at 9 p.m. in downtown Tuscaloosa.


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