The town of Irondequoit decided to cancel all 2020 Independence Day celebration activities, including the parade and fireworks display.
The annual two-day festival generally brings tens of thousands of visitors to the Town Hall campus, making it one of the largest celebrations in upstate New York.
“Our yearly Independence Day celebration is a central part of the town of Irondequoit’s identity,” Supervisor Dave Seeley said. “While the decision to not hold the event this year was a difficult one, it is the right one. I look forward to renewing this tradition in 2021 and seeing our Town Hall campus once again become the heartbeat of our area’s July Fourth pride.”
In April, the town canceled the festival but hoped it could have the fireworks display in an alternative location to permit more social distancing. Two locations were considered: Camp Eastman near Lake Ontario and the former Irondequoit Mall. The latter was eliminated due to multiple construction projects at the site. As more neighboring towns indicated they were not having fireworks this year, the possibility of a surge of visitors from other communities eliminated the town park from consideration.
Twice a week, town supervisors and village mayors gather on a conference call to discuss common issues faced during the COVID outbreak and coordinate major decisions, such as special events and summer recreation.
“This year, Americans will be asked to think creatively in demonstrating our national pride during the July Fourth holiday,” Seeley said. “The COVID-19 outbreak has reminded us that while we might not be able to connect in the traditional sense, we are not alone and still a part of one community, one state and one nation.