Fireworks will burst in the air above Port Angeles Harbor on the Fourth of July this year, but the Port Angeles Chamber of Commerce is urging residents to view the show online or from their yards rather than in a large gathering downtown.
The parade and much of the entertainment of past years is not possible this year because of social distancing requirements to slow the spread of COVID-19.
But this year’s new normal will include a never-before-seen addition: a Heroes Appreciation Wall in front of the shuttered Lincoln Theater at 132 E. First St.
The evening will start at 8 p.m. with a livestreamed two-hour virtual concert by Black Diamond Junction, said Leslie Robertson, chamber events coordinator, in a press release issued Friday.
At about 10:15 p.m., the annual fireworks show will begin, accompanied by music played on local radio station KONP 101.7 FM and 1450 AM.
The fireworks will be viewable live online following the concert, Robertson said in the release.
The link for livestreaming will be announced at a later date, she said in a phone interview.
“We’re livestreaming it so people can see it safely,” Robertson said.
In addition, the show “should be visible throughout much of the city,” so people can watch it from their yards in small family gatherings, she said.
Consumer fireworks are prohibited within the city limits.
“The chamber is encouraging local residents to plan family front- and backyard celebrations that can incorporate both the online live concert and the fireworks show,” Robertson said.
The Heroes Appreciation Wall downtown will be a new aspect of the annual Fourth of July celebration.
“We’re really excited about that,” Robertson said.
“We are at our best when we can rally around something.”
The wall will be up throughout the Fourth of July weekend for community members to express thanks to anyone or any organization that has made a positive difference in their lives through the COVID-19 pandemic.
In early April, the chamber’s planning committee announced its hopes to produce the community’s annual Fourth of July celebration with large gatherings in the downtown area, including the parade. However, the committee has found that contingency plans must be invoked to conform to safe practices guidelines and has updated its plans and activities that would have involved large gatherings are cancelled.
Questions about the Fourth of July planned activities can be addressed to firstname.lastname@example.org, or by calling 360-797-9345.
Updated information will be posted at www.PortAngeles.org.
Terry Ward, publisher of the Peninsula Daily News, Sequim Gazette and Forks Forum, serves on the Port Angeles Chamber of Commerce board of directors.