The city of Bakersfield announced Tuesday the cancellation of Saturday’s annual Fourth of July fireworks celebration at The Park at River Walk due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
In a news release, the city said after careful thought and consideration and in consultation with the Kern County Public Health Services Department, the California Department of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the decision was made with the public’s health at the front of mind.
The city said it will broadcast a special Independence Day concert by the Bakersfield Municipal Band on multiple social media platforms. Also, 23ABC will televise the concert, scheduled to air from 6:30-7:30 p.m. on the city’s Facebook and Twitter pages, as well as the city’s Recreation & Parks Facebook page.
The city said it hopes to host a fireworks show later this year when state and county guidelines on social gatherings change.
The city initially canceled the annual July 4 celebration in late April, citing social distancing concerns amid the pandemic. That same day, however, the city issued a follow-up announcement stating the cancellation was premature.
In Tuesday’s news release, the city said it hoped state guidelines would have been revised sooner and that it explored alternatives for the celebration. Still, with coronavirus cases increasing locally and statewide regulations still in place, the city said holding such a communitywide event isn’t possible right now.
It added that other communities in California and the United State have canceled similar celebrations scheduled for this weekend.