July 4th firework shows creating crowd concerns amid COVID-19

Updated: Jun. 29, 2020 at 8:22 PM CDT
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JACKSON COUNTY, Miss. (WLOX) - Concerns over social distancing in crowded areas are ramping up as cities across the coast still plan to light up the sky on Saturday night with their annual 4th of July firework shows.

Walking along the beach in Pascagoula, you will not see too many people other than the occasional jogger. But come Saturday when it’s time to launch fireworks, the beach is going to see a much busier crowd.

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At 1 p.m. on July Fourth, Beach Boulevard will close to allow people to walk safely to the beach. Eddie Mullich is attending the show and is focused on keeping a safe distance from others while watching the fireworks.

“Our family’s going to be grouped together,” said Mullich. “There’s eight of us, and we’re just going to keep our distance and have a good time.”

While Mullich plans to watch the show from Beach Park, Deborah Camplejohn will be taking to the water, to watch the show from the deck of their boat.

“I think it will be wonderful if we’re out on the boat and we’re like socially distancing and just away from everyone doing our own little thing,” said Camplejohn. “Getting out and letting the kids have a good time.”

But seeing the fireworks doesn't mean you have to be out in the waves or even at Beach Park.

“We’re right near the water, so we’re going to have a party here with some friends— we know that we’ve already been around. So we’re comfortable hanging out and having them at our house,” said Pascagoula resident Brian Johns. “The fireworks will be right at the Beach Park and at the end of the pier, and we can see them literally right from our front yard. So, we don’t even have to go anywhere.”

The Pascagoula firework show will be streaming live on the city’s YouTube page for people looking to avoid crowds altogether.

“If it’s your preference and that’s what you want to do— is stay home and watch it, then that’s great,” said Camplejohn. “For us, we have little kids, our grandkids, and we can go on the boat and do things and then come and see the fireworks, and that’s really nice.”

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Pascagoula is not the only city putting on a show, Ocean Springs will still have their display but has gone ahead and canceled the block party.

City leaders are still promoting social distancing for people who plan on attending firework shows and encouraging people to wear a mask.

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