OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Ralston's Independence Day Parade and Fireworks have been an area tradition since 1960. Due to coronavirus-related concerns, the two-day event which features Nebraska's largest 4th of July parade, has been canceled.
This year would have marked 60 years straight for the event. Even without orders limiting the number of people allowed to gather, organizers don't believe it would be allowed to carry on.
"It is hard to imagine July 4th in Ralston without an Independence Day Parade but we simply cannot safely bring 50,000 people together and protect their health," said City Administrator Rick Hoppe. "Public gatherings of more than ten people are still prohibited in the Metro area and even if the measure is lifted, we don't anticipate being allowed to resume mass gatherings by July 4th."
While the July 4th celebration has been canceled, organizers say the city is looking into hosting a fireworks show sometime near Labor Day to honor first responders and healthcare workers who are on the frontline fighting to prevent the spread.
"We can't be sure how contained COVID-19 will be by Labor Day," said Chamber of Commerce President Amy Roeder, "If we can safely do it, a fireworks celebrations dedicated to the community heroes fighting this pandemic would be a great boost to the morale of Ralston and the Metro in these difficult times. We hope it can happen."
It's hoped the event will resume in 2021.