The COVID-19 pandemic has affected plans for Fourth of July celebrations in Parsons and area communities, but there still be plenty of opportunities to watch a fireworks display.
The Parsons Chamber of Commerce still plans to host is annual fireworks show on July 4 at Marvel Park. The display will begin after dusk, around 9:30 or 9:45 p.m.
The road east of the Marvel Park stadium will be barricaded for safety reasons, but parking will be available on the west and south sides of the stadium.
Because of the pandemic, the chamber is requesting that everyone practice social distancing and wear a mask or face covering.
The chamber usually arranges for food vendors to park near the stadium, but those won’t be available this year. Similarly, the Parsons Community Band will not perform patriotic tunes prior to the display in Forest Park as it normally does as part of the city’s Music in the Park series.
“We are excited to be able to offer our show this year. With everything going on, we all need a show of hope and celebration,” Parsons Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Jodeci Turner said in a prepared statement. “We also felt that fireworks can be seen from many locations and it’s easy to social distance during this event, unlike many others.”
Grandview Cabinetry and Power Flame Inc. are long-standing corporate sponsors of the annual fireworks show. CST Storage and U.S Cellular-Premier Locations are providing 3D glasses that can be picked up for free at the chamber office, 506 Main St., U.S. Cellular, 2120 Main St., or at the Parsons utility office in the Municipal Building.
KLKC V93.5 FM radio station will play music corresponding with the show.
The Chetopa Chamber of Commerce usually sponsors the biggest Fourth of July celebration in the Parsons area, but the city has scaled back its plans to just a fireworks display because of the recent outbreak of COVID-19 at Chetopa Manor. Among other activities, Chetopa had planned to have several food vendors as well as horseshoe and cornhole tournaments and a tractor pull. Rick Cook and Seminole had planned to perform at 7 p.m. and again after the fireworks until midnight.
The fireworks display will begin at dark. Mayor Tammy Bushong posted on a Chetopa Facebook page that the city was strongly recommending everyone stay in their vehicles to watch the display. She asked those planning to go to the park to practice social distancing and to pick up any trash as there will be no volunteers available. The fire department will mark off an area in the East River Park to set up for the fireworks.
Bushong said in the post that the decision to cancel the activities at the park was made with the input of all the volunteers who work from early in the morning to late in the night on the Fourth of July. Volunteers were concerned about being exposed to the coronavirus.
The Oswego Fire Department will have vendors and live music to compliment its fireworks display that will begin at dusk Friday at the Labette County Fairgrounds.
Rick Cook & Seminole featuring Jayly Cook will perform outside of the community center from 7 to 10:30 p.m. Concessions will be available beginning at 6 p.m., including Blade & Co., Oswego Sweets/Tropical Sno and Genelle’s Kettle Korn, which is having a fundraiser for the Youth Crisis Center in Parsons.
At Altamont, there will be no live music, but the fireworks show sponsored by the city and the Altamont Fire Department will start at 9:30 p.m. Friday. Parking will be available on the south side of Labette County High School’s Harrison Auditorium.
Genelle’s Kettle Korn will be set up there.