TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Independence Day in Tampa won’t look the same this year thanks to the coronavirus.
The city was forced to cancel its July 4 “Boom by the Bay” fireworks along Tampa’s waterfront.
“While we would have loved to celebrate the 4th of July together in person, we have to put the safety of our community first,” says Tampa Mayor Jane Castor. “We are looking forward to an even bigger celebration next year once this virus is behind us, but we have to work together first to stop it.”
The city said it’s urging residents to do what they can to slow the spread of the virus such as wearing face coverings in public settings, keeping a safe distance, avoiding large gatherings and washing their hands for at least 20 seconds.
Local businesses, which rely on events like the 4th of July fireworks display, will have to deal with the loss of income on that important day.
“So those small businesses are already down because of COVID, starting to come back, but not having that gathering and the tens-of-thousand of people in the downtown area, it’s gonna affect the economy for sure,” said Lynda Redmund of the Tampa Dowtown Partnership.
St. Petersburg and Clearwater also announced that displays in those cities are a no-go this year.
“I think we realize now how much more social we are as a people by not being around others at work, not being able to congregate at our houses of faith. There’s a lot of things that have changed. And you really want to have interaction with people,” said Mayor Frank Hibbard of Clearwater.
For more information about COVID-19 cases in the area, visit the Florida Department of Health COVID-19 Dashboard and select the Hillsborough County report.
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