There will be fewer local fireworks displays this Independence Day.
The Dalton Parks and Recreation Department hosts a fireworks show as part of a scaled back Fourth of July celebration. The city of Varnell and the Highland Forest subdivision host their annual fireworks show on Friday, the day before Independence Day. But the town of Cohutta has canceled its annual Fourth of July celebration, while Murray County has postponed its fireworks show until this fall.
Independence Day is usually a major affair in Dalton, with eating contests, live musical acts, professional wrestling and horseshoe and bean bag tossing tournaments. This year, due to the new coronavirus (COVID-19), activities have been scaled back, with fireworks being the only part of the celebration.
"They should fire up at 9:30 p.m. to 9:45 p.m., depending on weather," said Parks and Recreation Department Director Mike Miller.
The show will be at Heritage Point Park, 1275 Cross Plains Trail. Organizers say the best place to see the show will be at the upper baseball/softball field. Everyone should follow social distancing guidelines at all times, including remaining 6 feet apart.
The Heritage Point east concession stand will open at 5 p.m. The pool at the John Davis Recreation Center, 904 Civic Drive, will be open from noon to 5 p.m.
The city of Varnell and Highland Forest subdivision host a fireworks show on Friday, July 3, at about 9:30 p.m. The show is for residents of the subdivision and the city of Varnell.
Murray County has postponed its Fourth of July fireworks.
"We normally schedule our fireworks display on the Saturday prior to July 4," said County Manager Tommy Parker.
But due to the coronavirus and an executive order by Gov. Brian Kemp limiting gatherings of more than 50 people through June 30, the county decided to postpone that event, Parker said.
"We moved our display date to Oct. 16," said Parker. "This is the Friday just prior to the Saturday and Sunday of the Black Bear Festival."
The Black Bear Festival is an annual arts and craft event held each fall in Chatsworth.
Cohutta officials have canceled their annual Independence Day celebration this year.
"We just felt like with COVID-19 and everything that is going on, it wouldn't be a good idea," said Mayor Ron Shinnick. We have a lot of elderly people, who are really at risk, attend the event, so that was a consideration."