COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)
Columbia's annual Fourth of July Fire in the Sky celebration will look different this year. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the city moved the location of the fireworks to display from downtown to Cosmo-Bethel Park.
Mike Griggs, Columbia Parks and Recreation Director said the city has received mixed signals from residents who live near the park about the show and what it may bring to the area.
Some residents said they are really concerned about the amount of people that may still try to watch the fireworks show and wanted the city to block off certain streets off.
Griggs said the city's public safety department felt because it's a 20 minute show that the amount of resources to block off a neighborhood would far outweigh the benefits of doing it.
ABC 17 News spoke with Stefanie Snow, a south Columbia resident who lives right along Bethel road. She said she's worried others may try to watch the show in her yard and what health concerns that may cause.
“I really don't want anyone in my yard with COVID and all the safety issues that we're having," Snow said. "The last thing we need is for a bunch of strangers to be in our backyard with germs.”
Snow said she is thinking of purchasing signs that say no trespassing to put in her lawn, as the street she lives on is still not blocked off.
Snow said if others want to watch the show and park along the street or stay confined to the sidewalk that's fine as she wants everyone to enjoy the show as well.
Griggs said the city encourages everyone to stay home to enjoy the show and to not go to Cosmo-Bethel park or nearby neighborhoods as there will not be any public parking.
“We don't really want people to come and plus these fireworks are going to be pretty high," Griggs said. "Don't try to drive to the neighborhoods and the Rock Bridge are all the school parking because all those will be closed."
The city has put signs and orange fencing around the Cosmo-Bethel Park and parking lots, blocking off most of the area.