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For the second year in a row, there will be no official July 4 fireworks displays and other celebrations in Lynn, Nahant and Swampscott.
Due to ongoing concerns regarding the COVID-19 virus, Lynn Mayor Thomas M. McGee and town administrators Sean Fitzgerald of Swampscott and Antonio Barletta of Nahant pulled the plug on the festivities.
Traditionally, Swampscott and Lynn do their fireworks displays on July 3, and Nahant’s show is on the holiday.
The communities made their decisions despite ongoing attempts to vaccinate people against the virus. Even so, there are still newly-reported COVID-19 cases each day, according to a statement released by the City of Lynn, and it is not anticipated that the state will have opened restrictions on gathering limits to a point where the three communities feel it is safe to hold an event that would draw such a large crowd.
“While it is disappointing to have to cancel the annual fireworks display for a second consecutive year, the decision to cancel this year’s show was made in order to continue to prioritize the health and safety of our residents,” said McGee. “Though we are moving forward through the state reopening plan and vaccinating more residents, the threat of the pandemic is not yet over.
“We must remain vigilant to minimize the threat of any further spread of the virus until these types of larger gatherings are deemed to be safe,” he said.
The decision came several days after the Lynn City Council announced the formation of an Illegal Fireworks Enforcement Committee, which will combat the use of personal, illegal fireworks in the city, particularly during the summer months.
Police and city officials felt the increase in the volume of illegal fireworks, shot off in the months both before and after July 4, was exacerbated by the cancellation of last year’s displays.
The subcommittee will discuss possible options to reduce the usage of illegal fireworks in the city — including a proposed home rule petition to increase fines — during a meeting scheduled for Tuesday at 4 p.m.
“While we all miss celebrating the Fourth of July as a community, we are still seeing too many of our friends and neighbors impacted by COVID-19,” said Fitzgerald. “With this, I am proud of the citizens from Swampscott, Lynn and Nahant who understand that getting vaccinated is one of the most patriotic things we can do to help each other celebrate our commitment to life, liberty and happiness.
“You can count on the fact that as a nation, as a commonwealth, as a city, and as a town we are all looking forward to a time we can all celebrate with each other as a community,” he said.
“The adjustments we have made as a region and individual communities throughout this pandemic have been difficult, but the core of each decision has emphasized the health of our residents and neighbors,” said Barletta. “Right now, we are taking incremental steps with reopening and hope that sometime soon we will be able to gather in crowd sizes like that of typical Fourth of July celebrations.”