The Delta Eagles lodge has reversed its decision to hold a July 11 fireworks show after conferring with the village administrator.
Eagles Lodge #2597 Secretary Randy Simon said Thursday morning the event was scrapped after he was contacted by Delta Village Administrator Brad Peebles. Peebles told him he and Mayor Bob Gilbert decided that a fireworks event during the coronavirus pandemic was actually not in the best interest of the village.
“They said they weren’t behind it,” Simon said. “They said with the (COVID-19) numbers going up it would not be good for Delta. I told them we would cancel it if that’s the case.”
A statement released Thursday said: “Village of Delta officials in cooperation with the Delta Eagles as sponsors of the 2020, July 4th Fireworks show scheduled for July 11, 2020, have decided it is in the best interest of the community to cancel this event. With a continued interest in the health and safety of our residents, recent increases in the COVID-19 cases raise concerns, such an event may have a very negative impact for Delta with possible consequences outweighing the benefits. We apologize and we appreciate your understanding.”
Simon said Eagles President Dick Berry is not pleased with the cancellation, but told Simon the commissioners and Fulton County Health Department might choose to push back hard over the event taking place.
Fulton County Health Commissioner Kim Cupp said she understands the desire to celebrate July 4th, “but under our current status with this virus that’s capable of spreading, any decision the community makes that prevents the community from congregating will help prevent the spread of the virus.”
She added, “Even if we weren’t seeing that dramatic increase there would still be concern because the virus has not changed. We need to continue to make those good choices,” she said.
According to Fulton County Commissioner Bill Rufenacht, the Eagles’ intended fireworks show was not within the purview of the commissioners’ office.
Peebles said the village’s concern is for public health. “We do not want to spread the virus, and we do not want input from outside communities.”
Gilbert said previously the village might be inundated with spectators since the Eagles fireworks show would be the only one available in the region due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The planned chicken BBQ drive-thru will still be held.
Simon said he has not signed a contract with the intended fireworks provider but doesn’t know the status of an agreement. He said the company will be contacted.
“I’m disappointed. I thought people would enjoy it,” he said. “(But) I think it’s the good of the community is what we need to think about.”