Editorial: Local fireworks shows give us a sense of normalcy

In Dalton and Varnell, the fireworks shows will go on.

With the new coronavirus (COVID-19) upsetting nearly all aspects of our lives, a bit of normalcy will return early next month as those two cities hold their traditional Fourth of July fireworks displays.

The Dalton Parks and Recreation Department hosts a fireworks show on Saturday, July 4, as part of its annual 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. This year, the town of Cohutta canceled its annual Fourth of July celebration. Over in Murray County, their fireworks display has been pushed back to Friday, Oct. 16, to coincide with the annual Black Bear Festival, which features arts and crafts.

The Dalton fireworks start between 9:30 p.m. to 9:45 p.m., depending on weather. The show will be at Heritage Point Park, 1275 Cross Plains Trail. The best place to watch the show is at the upper baseball/softball field, organizers say, and they are urging the public to practice social distancing guidelines, which include staying at least 6 feet away from each other.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Dalton's usual robust Independence Day celebration has been scaled back. The food eating contests, Little Miss Rec competition, pro wrestling and other events were canceled. The Heritage Point east concession stand opens at 5 p.m. The pool at the John Davis Recreation Center, 904 Civic Drive, is open from noon to 5 p.m.

The City of Varnell and Highland Forest subdivision fireworks show is Friday, July 3, at about 9:30 p.m. The show is for residents of the subdivision and the city of Varnell.

We are excited that at least two professional fireworks displays will still happen over the Fourth of July weekend. We hope that everyone gets a chance to see the night sky light up on those two nights.

We also hope everyone remembers to keep their social distance, and wears face coverings when out at these public events. We expect Heritage Point Park to be quite crowded on July 4, so you may want to seek out other locations where you can watch the show.

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