Minnesota’s biggest 4th of July celebrations remain cancelled due to coronavirus fears despite the widespread celebration of Juneteenth.
“Juneteenth” is the name of a holiday observed on June 19th to commemorate the end of American slavery. This holiday received a greater than usual amount of observance this year amidst a wave of racial tension following riots triggered by the death of George Floyd who perished while the custody of the Minneapolis Police last month.
Minneapolis alone saw no less than five separate Juneteenth celebrations that drew thousands into the streets this year with zero apparent regard for the state’s COVID-19 related guidelines and regulations. The Juneteenth Community Festival and Rally for Justice in north Minneapolis even included food vendors and live music.
Meanwhile, the 4th of July remains canceled.
— Evan Frost (@efrostee) June 19, 2020
Below is a list of Minnesota towns and cities that have opted not to host 4th of July fireworks displays or have nixed other other festivities:
- Apple Valley
- Mendota Heights
- St. Louis Park
- St. Joseph
St. Paul will also not be having fireworks this year, but this is not unusual for Minnesota’s capital city, which discontinued its celebration two years ago, per the Star Tribune.
While some of the cities on this list will not celebrate Independence Day because local leaders feel it is too dangerous to have people outside their homes, others like Excelsior are unable to afford the 4th. Without the usual amounts of money collected during fundraisers and generated by business-related tax revenue, many small communities are strapped for cash.
“People are frustrated with the loss of fireworks, and the loss of an event, and I totally hear them,” says Jen Weiss and the Excelsior-Lake Minnetonka Chamber of Commerce, per KARE 11. “[However,] I think the bigger picture is thinking back on the business community, and people that are fearful for losing not only jobs but their entire livelihood,” she adds.
Time also inadvertently pointed out the ironic fact that while there will be no 4th of July fireworks this year, America’s streets experienced record levels of pyrotechnic activity this month as George Floyd rioters turned fireworks into makeshift weapons.