GROVELAND, Fla. – The City of Groveland isn’t hosting a big Fourth of July celebration because of the coronavirus pandemic, but it is putting on two dueling fireworks displays for residents to watch safely from their own homes.
Last month the mayor made the announcement in a letter and acknowledged the celebration would look different this year due to social distancing guidelines.
“In previous years, our tradition has been to gather for the best things the Fourth of July in Groveland has to offer: food, fun and fireworks. However, the current circumstances this year have prompted us to become innovative with how we celebrate,” Mayor Evelyn Wilson wrote.
At 9:15 p.m. on July 4, the city will host two separate firework shows that people will be able to see from their homes.
Khrystyna Tremaine with the city said officials did not want the pandemic to ruin anyone's patriotic spirit.
"Our mayor and council were very adamant on providing something to celebrate the Fourth of July for our residents," Tremaine said.
City officials said they couldn't celebrate the holiday like they normally do because the did not want a huge group of people coming together to watch the fireworks.
Instead, the city's Geographic Information System division mapped out all 26 square miles of Groveland. They pinpointed two secret locations where they can set off the fireworks so everyone in the city can watch from their homes.
"One on the north end and the south end of Groveland so that the radius would cover all homes in Groveland so residents can just look to the sky on the Fourth of July," Tremaine said.
The city estimates more than 21,000 people will enjoy the dueling fireworks display safely from their front porch or backyard.
Sharnise Demps recently moved to Groveland. She said she plans to watch the show with her daughter.
"I think it really shows that they are doing what they can to keep their residents comfortable and they can still be entertained and enjoy the holiday even during the pandemic," Demps said.
Independence Day events have been canceled or postponed across Central Florida as COVID-19 cases continue to rise.
News 6 has teamed up with the city of Orlando for a special 90-minute show titled “Our City of Heroes: A July 4th Celebration.” Read more about that here.