Clear Lake's 4th of July celebration canceled: 'We waited as long as we possibly could'

The city is hoping to hold some of the events later in the year, including the popular fireworks show over the lake.

Posted: May 26, 2020 9:02 AM
Updated: May 26, 2020 2:16 PM

CLEAR LAKE, Iowa - One of Iowa's biggest 4th of July celebrations has been canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The city made the announcement on Tuesday and said "we’ll be back in 2021 stronger and better than ever."

"We waited as long as we possibly could to make this decision. Although Governor Reynolds has begun to relax some restrictions, there is no way to social distance at the July 4th Celebration activities that attract 10s of 1000s of people. All of us are very mindful of the economic impact that the 4th of July Celebration has on our community. We know that many of our locally-owned and operated small business are suffering financially at the moment and need our support now more than ever," the city said.

Leaders said a celebration may be held later in the year, including a fireworks show.

"We are hoping to re-introduce some of the cancelled 4th of July celebration activities later in the year including the beloved IGNITE firework display over the lake."

You can see the full statement below: 

It is with the heaviest of hearts that we, here today, representatives of: the City of Clear Lake, Clear Lake Area Chamber of Commerce, and 4th of July Committee in collaboration with Cerro Gordo Public Health—announce that we have made the difficult decision to cancel the Clear Lake July 4th Celebration and events scheduled for July 1-5, 2020.

We waited as long as we possibly could to make this decision. Although Governor Reynolds has begun to relax some restrictions, there is no way to social distance at the July 4th Celebration activities that attract 10s of 1000s of people.

All of us are very mindful of the economic impact that the 4th of July Celebration has on our community. We know that many of our locally-owned and operated small business are suffering financially at the moment and need our support now more than ever.

However, first and foremost, our highest priority has to remain the health, welfare, and safety of our Community, including the 100,000+ visitors who come to Clear Lake for the 5-day event. Likewise, we are very conscious of our Community’s first responders (and those from beyond our Community) who are duty-bound to respond for calls to service and this kind of event would clearly place them in an extraordinarily difficult position. Additionally, these events cannot happen without commitment and sacrifice from our faithful Community volunteers and that is simply too much to ask of them under these public health pandemic circumstances.

We have also reached the point in our planning where the obligations to our sponsors, vendors, and other partners required the attention they deserve to make their own business decisions.

​The 4th of July committee is working together to explore ways to safely celebrate. We are hoping to re-introduce some of the cancelled 4th of July celebration activities later in the year including the beloved IGNITE firework display over the lake.

We are also exploring a firework display at an alternate location that would allow spectators to stay in their cars while watching. More details will be forthcoming.

Thank you for allowing us the honor to do the work we love to do. We are so very sorry to disappoint so many. We ourselves are heartbroken by this announcement.

​We’ll be back in 2021 stronger and better than ever.

Nelson Crabb, City of Clear Lake Mayor
Scott Flory, City of Clear Lake City Administrator
Stacy Doughan, Clear Lake Area Chamber of Commerce President & CEO
Dan Nichols, Clear Lake Area Chamber of Commerce Board Chair
Alice Hanley, July 4th Celebration Committee Chair
Trish Fundermann, Clear Lake Area Chamber of Commerce Events Director
Brian Hanft, CG Public Health

You can see the full press conference here:

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