Fireworks (copy)

Fireworks were a highlight of LaFayette’s 2019 Freedom Festival. LaFayette’s city council canceled this year’s festival but will proceed with fireworks on July 3 with some restrictions that will be based rules and guidelines the state may have in place in early July.

With uncertainty still surrounding social distancing guidelines, restrictions on large gatherings and other COVID-19-related issues, the LaFayette City Council unanimously decided to cancel this year’s Freedom Festival, which had been set for the evening of July 3 at the LaFayette Recreation Center.

The festival is the second major festival in the city to be canceled over concerns about the pandemic this year. Organizers for the Honeybee Festival announced their decision to call off their fourth annual festival, which had been scheduled for June 13, due to health and economic concerns.

The Freedom Festival decision was made during a May 22 council meeting held via a conference call.

However, the council voted, by a 3-2 margin, to allow the Freedom Festival’s traditional fireworks show to be held on the night of July 3 at its usual approximate time of 10 p.m., but with some restrictions in place. Council members Wayne Swanson and Beacher Garmany cast votes against holding the fireworks while Judy Meeks, Chris Davis and Joe Massingill voted to proceed with the annual pyrotechnics.

Those restrictions concern possible limiting of vehicle parking and pedestrian traffic at the recreation center as it relates to social distancing and limits on public gatherings. The council decided to base those limitations on what rules and guidelines the state may have in place in early July.

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