After careful thought and consideration, the City of Bakersfield has made the difficult decision to cancel the City’s annual Independence Day fireworks celebration at the Park at River Walk due to the ongoing COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) pandemic.
It is clear that under the current state and county guidelines regarding public gatherings, a public gathering such as this event, is not possible at this time.
The City is working with its partners at the Kern County Department of Public Health (KCDPH), California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to ensure the public’s health is not put at risk.
The health and safety of Bakersfield residents and its employees remain the City’s top priority.
As an alternative, on Saturday, July 4, the City will broadcast a special Independence Day concert by the Bakersfield Municipal Band - which falls under the umbrella of the Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra - on multiple social media accounts. 23ABC will also air the concert on broadcast television. The concert is scheduled to air from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. on the City’s Facebook and Twitter pages, as well as the City’s Recreation & Parks Facebook page, among other outlets.
The City had hoped that state guidelines would be revised sooner and the City extensively explored various alternatives for the fireworks celebration up to this week, but under current guidelines we are unable to offer a community wide event that would meaningfully serve our broader population. Most other large communities in California and around the country have canceled Independence Day celebrations due to the ongoing pandemic as well.
The City hopes to develop a plan to host a community celebration with a fireworks show later this year once state and county guidelines allow for public gatherings once again.
We ask that residents find safe and legal ways to celebrate the Independence Day holiday at home, while also practicing responsible social distancing and following the guidelines set forth by the KCDPH, CDPH and CDC.
We look forward to the return of the annual Independence Day fireworks celebration in 2021.
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