fireworks

The city of Elk Grove plans to host a fireworks show, not a park festival, on July 4.

The city of Elk Grove’s annual Salute to Red, White, and Blue celebration will not be held at Elk Grove Regional Park this year. Instead, local residents will be invited to stand outside their homes and watch the night sky on July 4.

Fireworks will be shot from an undisclosed location, rather than at the park. Organizers are also planning to use shells that can create explosions large enough to be seen from across the city.

State and Sacramento County restrictions over large public gatherings during the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) situation had prompted changes to the Salute to the Red, White, and Blue.

“We want to make sure that people can stay safe and celebrate with optimism,” said Jodie Moreno, the city’s community events and projects coordinator.

She noted that an estimated 20,000 to 22,000 people attended last year’s Salute to the Red, White, and Blue festival at Elk Grove Regional Park.

“We can’t have 23,000 people at (Elk Grove Regional Park) and comply with the public health order,” Moreno said.

A few major festivals such as the Elk Grove Western Festival and the Strauss Festival of Elk Grove were canceled earlier this year at the same park, due to county and state restrictions against festivals. The restrictions are intended to prevent the spread of COVID-19 infections.

Moreno said that the city organizers of this year’s Elk Grove Multicultural Festival, which is slated for Aug. 22 at the District56 event center, have not yet made a final decision on whether to hold that festival.

The organizers of this year’s Salute to the Red, White, and Blue fireworks show want to attract interest from outside Elk Grove. They are seeking to work with a local television station to broadcast the show. There are also plans to have the Sacramento radio station, 93.7 The River air a musical soundtrack that viewers can hear while they watch the fireworks.

During her interview, Moreno said that the lack of a festival at Elk Grove Regional Park will allow the Elk Grove police to dedicate more time and labor to patrolling the city’s streets for people using illegal fireworks.

Along with honoring the country’s 244th birthday, the city’s fireworks show will also celebrate the 20th anniversary of Elk Grove’s cityhood.

Moreno said that the city staff is discussing more events to honor that anniversary.

“It’s a new world we’re in,” she said. “We’re trying to come up with celebrating who we are and what we do, but we’re trying to follow the (public safety) orders from the county.

During their May 13 meeting, the Elk Grove City Council supported the alternative plan for having the Salute to the Red, White, and Blue fireworks show.

“Being able to continue to celebrate our city’s birthday as well as our national holiday is something that’s important to our community, especially under the situation we’ve been through for the last two months,” Elk Grove City Council Member Steve Detrick said.