Bessemer Fourth of July celebration grows
June 20, 2020
By CHARITY SMITH
“I am a firm believer that we need to have a time so that people can be ready,” said Linda Nelson who chairs the committee.
The location of the fireworks will not be announced until hours before the show to reduce the potential of a crowd forming, in light of social distancing concerns.
“Our goal is to make sure everyone is safe,” said Nelson. “We do not want any social gatherings but we wanted to be able to do something.”
The Fourth of July Committee is also working on planning several "small surprises," Nelson said.
The Tree of Honor will be displayed and lit with red, white and blue lights, possibly as early as next week, she said. However, they will only be displaying plaques from past years. No new plaque will be added this year and there will not be a ceremony, where the names of those are read off, as in years past.
“There is usually 50 to 75 people that show up at the Tree of Honor thing and with the social distancing requirements of 10 people or less at the time (last month), how could you plan for something like that,” Nelson said.
Once lit, the Tree of Honor will be on from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. through the Fourth of July and is located in Pocket Park on Sophie Street.
According to Nelson, the Fourth of July Committee is still planning on kicking off the Fourth of July with the traditional Poncho's salute — a large firework set off at 6 a.m. “It basically signifies 'wake up all it's the Fourth of July,’” she said.
Nelson said they are also looking into the possibility of having a jet flyover by the 148th Fighter Wing, and she said she has heard that some “floats” that might “parade” around the city, but nothing is confirmed yet.
The Bessemer VFW will host its ninth annual Pork Roast on Sunday, June 28, to help kick off the week, and its monthly Sunday breakfast on July 5.