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Salem cancels July 4 firework celebration

SALEM — The city will not host its traditional July 4 fireworks this year following the state’s recently announced restrictions on the number of people who can gather outdoors due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

A press release from Mayor Kimberley Driscoll’s office Friday stated that after discussions with the National Park Service, which hosts Salem’s annual celebration at Derby Wharf, Salem officials made the decision to cancel the fireworks display and outdoor concert in order to ensure the crowd does not exceed the state’s 250-person cap on outdoor gatherings. 

Driscoll said the festivities typically attract thousands of visitors to the city each year. 

“We continue to do all that we can to keep our community safe for everyone,” Driscoll said. “Unfortunately, even with the improving public health metrics, we will not be in a place where the city or the National Park Service believes we will be able to safely gather on Derby Wharf in July. It’s far too important that we continue to slow the spread of COVID.”

Instead, Salem is inviting residents to celebrate Independence Day by hanging an American flag from their porch or house, decorating their home or business, and sharing images of their personal celebrations the day of the holiday by posting to social media with the hashtag, #SalemCelebratesJuly4th. 

City officials are also reminding residents that the use of fireworks is illegal in Salem and fines for illegal fireworks are increased around the July 4 holiday. 

“We are looking forward to welcoming everyone back to our historic waterfront to celebrate on July 4, 2022,” Driscoll said. 

Elyse Carmosino can be reached at ecarmosino@itemlive.com.

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