DEBARY, Fla. – Like most cities, DeBary canceled last year’s Fourth of July celebration because of the pandemic but this year city leaders said they’re bringing it back.
Every year the event in Gemini Springs Park attracts around 6,000 people.
“We do have the ability to limit attendance, but we hope we don’t have to go that route,” said Jason Schaitz, the city’s Parks and Recreation Director.
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The city leaders said they’re hopeful because they are anticipating that within the next three months all Floridians will be able to get vaccinated.
“If we’re still in the current state with covid there will be protocols put in place for social distancing. We will have sanitizing stations,” said Schaitz.
Despite the pandemic, the city has still held popular events, some at limited capacity and others with normal size crowds.
“We were able to adjust on the fly and handle the increase in crowds,” said City Manager Carmen Rosamonda.
Mayor Karen Chasez said last year’s cancelation was tough financially on a lot of local businesses, vendors and people who depend on and sell at the event.
“That is an economic fallout both for our citizen’s groups and for our businesses and charities that didn’t have an opportunity,” she said.
Each year the city spends about $35,000 on the event and a citizens’ group raises money for the rest. A good chunk is the fireworks deposit.
“We have credit for that towards this year because we did not use the fireworks,” said Chasez.
Monitoring the pandemic trends, she said they will determine whether all vendors can be there this year.