WILMINGTON — An American tradition that’s continued for 244 years won’t be dampened by the pandemic — at least locally — as the City of Wilmington’s annual Independence Day fireworks show will blast off at 10 p.m. Saturday.
A few moves were made to continue the fireworks locally, including a different staging area — the Clinton County Fairgrounds — as the Clinton County Agricultural Society and President Scot Gerber worked with the city and the mayor’s office to get it done. The fireworks are normally held at J.W. Denver Williams Jr. Memorial Park.
The fireworks will again be provided by Rozzi’s.
As the News Journal reported in June, after the Wilmington Park Board voted to cancel the annual fireworks display at J.W. Denver Williams Park last month due to the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic, Mayor John Stanforth sought an alternative solution.
“We started kicking around ideas on how to have fireworks and logistically give enough space to social distance. One call led to another and the idea gained a lot of traction,” Stanforth stated then.
Although the fireworks will be set off on city-owned property, the shells would land on county property.
“What makes the fairgrounds a good location is a large portion of the residents can already enjoy the show from their own home, optimistically reducing attendees on the fairground property,” City Administrator Marian Miller had stated.
To view the fireworks, Miller advised that people will be allowed to park cars next to the Clinton County Annex Building on South Nelson Ave., the bike trail parking lot on Nelson Avenue, Stuckey Farm Park, and Holmes Elementary.
Miller encourages people to either remain in or around their vehicles and to continue to practice social distancing. She also encouraged those who can view the show from their house to do so.
The fireworks will be shot higher into the air, compared to test demonstrations at the fairgrounds.
“It was important to have a partnership in this event and we found that with the fair board, for which we are very grateful,” Stanforth added.
The city also added that a good point of reference for viewing the show is that, if the water tower at the fairgrounds is viewable, the fireworks will be viewable.