The city of Forsyth cancelled its annual Independence Day fireworks celebration on Tuesday in light of the coronavirus.
Councilman Julius Stroud motioned that Forsyth cancel its annual fireworks and accompanying celebration of Independence Day planned for July 3. John Howard seconded the motion, and the rest of council concurred.
Council member Mike Dodd asked if the celebration could be delayed just before the vote was taken, but he didn’t get any support for an alternative. Tammie Pierson, who organizes the Independence Day event as part of her duties with Main Street Forsyth, introduced the issue by suggesting that council might delay the fireworks until September. The city has already made a $5,000 deposit on $10,000 worth of fireworks for the event.
Pierson said she was planning an event without food vendors this year and thought people might remain in their vehicles to watch the fireworks, complying with social distancing.
“What if it is poorly attended?” said Stroud and motioned to cancel the fireworks.
“We may get back all or part of the deposit if we cancel now,” said Mayor Eric Wilson.
Pierson said she hasn’t asked about getting the deposit refunded, but the company representative told her the fireworks haven’t been ordered, yet. Pierson said she hasn’t talked with the county about using the Recreation Department for the fireworks this year.
“I think we’d be wasting money,” said council member Melvin Lawrence.
City manager Janice Hall said the Night Market events the city had contracted to hold on first Saturdays of the month beginning May 2 have been canceled until Sept. 5. The Night Market organizer is currently planning events for Sept. 5 and Oct. 3. Hall said other events that Forsyth has planned for the Fall are a Fall Festival at Halloween and a Fall yard sale.
“It’s okay to plan,” said Stroud.