During Monday evening’s Tiffin City Council meeting, Mayor Aaron Montz expanded on his administration’s decision to cancel this year’s fireworks display after it was rescheduled for Sept. 4.
The city-sponsored fireworks display for this year was originally scheduled to take place July 4, but was postponed to Sept. 4 due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Montz announced Monday that his administration made the decision to cancel the Sept. 4 fireworks display as well due to concerns over the ongoing pandemic.
“With the cancellation of the fireworks, it avoids a large mass crowd. The governor just last Thursday reiterated that the order of 10 people or more in a gathering is still in effect. There is really no way to do this fireworks display and meet the state regulations that have been put in place,” Montz said. “We’re looking out for our residents, trying to keep them healthy and safe, but we’re also looking out for our businesses.”
Montz said he didn’t find any “joy” in canceling the fireworks, and that due to rising COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in Seneca County, “the prudent and proper decision to make was to cancel the display this year.”
Montz said it is his hope that the city is able to host the “biggest Fourth of July bash that we’ve ever had” at Hedges-Boyer Park in 2021.
“Spend some extra on the fireworks, have bands out at the park most of the day, and by that time hopefully we have a vaccine in place and most of us have been able to be vaccinated so we are in a place that we can have a great Fourth of July celebration to celebrate our nation’s birthday at Hedges-Boyer Park next year,” Montz said.
Montz said his administration considered having a fireworks display where spectators would remain in their vehicles to comply with social distancing guidelines, but it was determined that there is no location in Tiffin that would be able to host such an event.
“We looked at in-car fireworks, the problem was there was no good place in the community really to do that within the city limits. At Hedges-Boyer Park, we know we love Hedges-Boyer Park, but a lot of that is the greenery as well. The fact that there are so many trees, there are not areas within that park where we could have set off fireworks to where anywhere near the number of people we bring in for the Fourth of July would have been able to enjoy those fireworks,” Montz said.
The mayor said other locations in the city were also considered, but there would have been either “traffic nightmares” or the locations couldn’t fit the amount of people the display would bring in.
“We are still responsible, if we were to hold the fireworks, and folks were getting out of their vehicles. Even if it was mandated they had to remain in. How on Earth do you police something like that, ensure that it’s not going on? We just do not have the manpower for those sorts of things,” Montz said.
Montz said he hopes city council supports his administration’s decision, and reiterated his desire for the “biggest and best” fireworks show next year.
“We hope to have the biggest and best fireworks show that we’ve ever had next year, and we can celebrate coming out of this and the community coming together once again in a time of health, and that we’re able to remember the struggle that 2020 turned out to be, and look to the future for bigger and better things.”