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The city has met with organizers of the July 3 Family Fireworks event and Tour de Terrace about their plans to meet state requirements for events and festivals. Given the short turnaround time following the next announcement by the Governor and the difficulty in meeting current state guidelines for large outdoor venues, neither event will take place in 2021.
After months of consideration, the key issues are the ability to manage the crowds in the vast areas of Ballinger Park and the Evergreen Playfield Complex with adjacent spaces, as well as procuring the fencing and staffing necessary to meet the requirements including counting guests that enter and exit the venues. Ultimately, given the resources and staffing available, meeting these requirements is not possible.
It was noted during the discussions that several traditional events in the area are not taking place this summer except for those events that charge an entrance fee that helps pay for staffing and equipment needed to provide for enhanced social distancing, sanitation, hygiene, and attendance control. As the July 3 Family Fireworks and Tour de Terrace events are provided free to the public, the funding needed to meet stringent COVID-19 protocols were too much for these volunteer organizations to absorb, particularly in such large venues that do not have natural containment.
“As disappointed as we are to not hold these events in our community, it was just too expensive and expansive to manage this year while maintaining public health and safety,” stated Community Relations Director Virginia Olsen.
One event the city does hope to add later in the summer is a grand opening event at the new Civic Campus. “Since the area is not as vast as our parks and can be contained, and we hope to be in Phase 4 or beyond, we believe we can hold this event even with COVID-19 requirements,” stated Ms. Olsen. “Initial planning is taking place, although the dates will not be decided until the project is complete, the city has moved in, and the Coronavirus situation becomes clearer. In the meantime, please watch our website and social media sites for further updates.”