While the COVID-19 pandemic may have prompted the cancellation of a number of events nationwide and locally, one thing it hasn’t been able to prevent is America’s birthday on July 4.   

Although most of Sedalia’s public festivities have been canceled this year including the downtown parade and the annual picnic at Centennial Park, one event that is scheduled to go off with a bang is the third annual fireworks display at the Missouri State Fairgrounds.

Hosted by the Sedalia Parks and Recreation Department and the City of Sedalia, the free event promises to light up the nighttime skies in grand style.

“It is always disappointing when we can’t provide the fun and excitement to the full element, but safety and the health of our community is always our No. 1 priority,”  Sedalia Parks and Rec Director Amy Epple said. “We tried looking at different ways to make everything work, but at the end of the day we just couldn’t make it all happen financially and safely while still providing the quality level that we always strive to do with our events and programs.”

According to Epple, the fireworks display is scheduled to last approximately 25 minutes. J&M Displays, who the department has contracted with for previous events, will once again provide the show.

The grandstands will open at 8:30 p.m., an hour before the fireworks are scheduled to begin at 9:30 p.m. Guests are welcome to bring their own chairs or blankets to the event. All gates on the fairgrounds will be open as normal and there will be plenty of parking space if individuals wish to remain in their vehicle to watch the display. Epple added everyone is encouraged to physically distance themselves, but there is ample space to watch the fireworks.

The free event is paid for by the Parks and Recreation Department with support from the City of Sedalia.

“I want to stress the City of Sedalia (contributions) for we couldn’t do this event without all the other departments,” Epple explained. “Fire is there for safety and support, the police controlling traffic, Public Works supplying cones and traffic barriers. The show is paid for by the Parks Department and City of Sedalia, the last couple of years we have had some donations from local businesses but this year with everything going on the Parks and City covered all costs.”

Epple commented Parks and Rec is looking forward to offering all of their Fourth of July activities next year. 

“Sedalia Parks and Recreation host the local fireworks each summer for it fits our philosophy and mission of providing local fun, enjoyment, and memories for our community and those visiting,” Epple said. “It is important to us even in rough times to still bring joy and fun to our community in a safe manner, we are happy and excited to once again host the firework display here for all to enjoy.”

Education Reporter

Hope Lecchi is the education reporter for the Democrat, covering all things education in Sedalia and Pettis County, as well as providing general assignment and feature coverage. She can be reached at 660-530-0144.

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