(Above) There will be no parade, carnival, Bingo, bands or fireworks during the July 4th holiday in Clear Lake this year. - Reporter file photo by Chris Barragy.
Governor’s order prohibiting crowds, public safety concerns drive decision
Fireworks at new location still a possibility
by Marianne Gasaway
For the first time in its 149-year history, Clear Lake will not hold a Fourth of July celebration.
“It is with the heaviest of hearts that we, here today, representatives of the City of Clear Lake, Clear Lake Area Chamber of Commerce, and Fourth of July Committee, in collaboration with Cerro Gordo Public Health, announce that we have made the difficult decision to cancel the Clear Lake July Fourth celebration and events scheduled for July 1-5, 2020,” Mayor Nelson Crabb stated in a Tuesday afternoon press conference. “We waited as long as we possibly could to make this decision. Although Governor Reynolds has begun to relax some restrictions, mass gatherings, including parades and festivals remain prohibited by the Governor’s proclamation.”
The mayor noted the economic impact the July 4th celebration has on the community and urged the public to continue supporting local business.
“However, first and foremost, our highest priority has to remain the health, welfare, and safety of our community, including the 100,000-plus visitors who come to Clear Lake for the five-day event. Likewise, we are very conscious of our community’s first responders— and those from beyond our community, who are duty-bound to respond for calls to service and this kind of event would clearly place them in an extraordinarily difficult position. Additionally, these events cannot happen without commitment and sacrifice from our faithful Community volunteers and that is simply too much to ask of them under these public health pandemic circumstances.”
Event organizers said the announcement was made now out of obligations to sponsors, vendors, and other partners so that they could make their own business decisions for the holiday stretch.
Although it will be a very different Fourth of July in Clear Lake, Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Stacy Doughan said the Fourth of July committee is working together to explore ways to safely celebrate.
“We are hoping to re-introduce some of the cancelled Fourth of July celebration activities later in the year, including the beloved IGNITE firework display over the lake. We are also exploring a fireworks display at an alternate location that would allow spectators to stay in their cars while watching,” she said.
“Thank you for allowing us the honor to do the work we love to do. We are so very sorry to disappoint so many. We ourselves are heartbroken by this announcement,” stated Mayor Crabb. “We’ll be back in 2021 stronger and better than ever.”