Economic impact of 4th of July holiday weekend in north Iowa

Cities like Clear Lake had to cancel many of their Fourth of July events. Did that keep tourists away or did people still come out to soak up the sun?

Posted: Jul 6, 2020 9:10 PM
Updated: Jul 7, 2020 6:52 AM

CLEAR LAKE, Iowa - Several cities and towns throughout our area rely on big Fourth of July events to bring in tourists.  With COVID-19 causing many of them to be cancelled, were people still taking the holiday weekend off?  According to the Clear Lake Area Chamber of Commerce, they were.

"Those who were open are actually saying that this weekend was a good weekend for them and comparable to previous years. So that's pleasant to hear," said chamber president Stacy Doughan.  She said people still flocked to Clear Lake to celebrate the Fourth.

"I think the lake is a great place to get out and be on their boats and people were on their boats and they were enjoying the nice weather and being with their family and hopefully enjoying the holiday safely."

Doughan also said local businesses have seen steady cash flow over the summer, even without big weekend activities.

Clear Lake's biggest event over the Fourth of July is their fireworks, parade and carnival.  Not having them this year was dissapointing for Mason City resident Maggie Johnson.  Her family usually makes the short trek every year for the show.

"We missed the fireworks. We usually come here for the Fourth of July weekend, we missed them on the lake," said Johnson.

Instead the family had to stay closer to home, in order to get their Independence Day thrills.

"We went to the fireworks that were Clear Lake and Mason City combined and we went to the one's there in Mason City and those were really cool and there were a ton of people there," she said.

Mary Prusa from Clive, Iowa said she didn't spend the Fourth of July in Clear Lake, but was still enjoying the town on Monday afternoon.  She thinks some people might have decided to stay close to home over the weekend.

"I would say it was definitely slower this year people are more cautious. a little different with the masks and everything on but also people are kind of letting their guard down it seems like," said Prusa.

It is still too soon to get a dollar-and-cents figure on how well businesses did over the weekend.  Many chambers of commerce are trying to get a more accurate picture on how the holiday went.  Albert Lea Freeborn Chamber of Commerce is asking local businesses to fill out a survey on the Fourth of July weekend.

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