Despite COVID-19 pandemic many still celebrate Fourth of July safely

Baton Rouge community gets creative to celebrate Fourth of July during pandemic

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Fourth of July celebrations may have seemed a little different in 2020 due to event cancellations across the country, including several events in Baton Rouge.

However, there were a few ways the public chose to celebrate safely.

One of the events that ended up being canceled was the USS KIDD’s Firework show. Organizers say they’re more glad to be open for this historic holiday as opposed to being upset about the cancellation.

“So for the USS KIDD to be open today on July Fourth is really exciting and I hope people will come down and support us and support other museums that are open,” said ship superintendent Tim NeSmith.

The USS KIDD’s staff made sure all visitors remained safe while touring the museum. They provided hand sanitizer stations, restricted pathways while reminding visitors to social distance, and then, of course, made sure everyone wore a mask.

Many said it was the perfect option to just get out of the house safely after being cooped up for months.

“It feels great - the fact, you know, that we are able to at least have the museum open because nothing was open for such a long time. That’s why it’s important to go do something to remember where you are,” said David Weller.

Weller and his family walked around the museum Saturday.

However, some chose a different approach to celebrate the holiday.

Over in New Roads, the community gathered for its annual Fourth of July False River Boat Parade. This year’s theme paid tribute to frontline workers who have been working throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

“They’re the ones that have been on the frontline protecting our families, our friends, and we don’t want them to be forgotten in our city,” said New Roads Mayor Cornell Dukes.

As members from the community gathered to watch the boat parade, some were overjoyed.

“It’s Independence Day, America’s birthday. That’s the best way of showing your gratitude to see these healthcare workers. They are the heroes,” said Maya Bettagere.

So yes, America’s holiday may have been a little different in 2020, but there were still plenty of fantastic ways folks celebrated and enjoyed the nation’s independence.

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