TUPELO • While the coronavirus pandemic has cancelled most Fourth of July celebrations, Saltillo and Nettleton are moving forward with their fireworks shows.
Lee County’s other smaller municipalities have opted to cancel any kind of Independence Day celebration to avoid people gathering together in large crowds,
Saltillo was forced to cancel its sixth annual Party at the Lake. While the music and food at Lake Lamar Bruce are out of the question, the city decided to keep the fireworks, albeit at a new location.
“The aldermen and myself feel strongly that as a city we need to do something to celebrate the birthday of the greatest country in history,” said Saltillo Mayor Rex Smith. “The fireworks show will be held at the high school and the primary school. We feel this location will give us the best access with the most parking.”
The pyrotechnics display will begin around 9 p.m. Saturday. The Saltillo police and fire departments will be on hand to help people get to their parking spaces. Since the fireworks will be fired from the north end of the football field, the parking lots of both schools should offer excellent views for people from their cars.
“We are asking everyone to use social distancing and to stay in their cars if possible,” Smith said. “If you have to get out to find a place on the grass, we ask that you stay with your family group. You can wave hello to friends from a distance.
“These things usually pull in crowds of people. We are encouraging people to wear a mask, especially if you have to interact with people. You have to use common sense and we need to respect others while trying to prevent the spread of this virus.”
Following the fireworks display, police and fire personnel will help direct traffic as folks return home.
The celebration in Nettleton will start a little earlier but follow a similar format as Saltillo.
“Our fireworks will start Saturday night at 8:45 at Roy Black Park and is sponsored by the Nettleton Main Street Association and the Nettleton Fire Department,” said organizer Dana Burcham. “We are encouraging everyone to stay in their car until it begins. When it starts, they can get out if they want.”
There should be plenty of parking at the park located on Highway 6 about a half-mile north of downtown.
The city of Guntown decided to totally cancel its day out in Guntown City Park and fireworks show. Likewise, Baldwyn cancelled its annual singing flag event to avoid a large gathering of people in close proximity.