MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCBD) – Officials are viewing Memorial Day weekend as a dry run for Fourth of July celebrations and are considering major changes for annual events.
On the Isle of Palms, the holiday will be much quieter, as officials voted in favor of nixing the fireworks celebration.
“I know there’s going to be a lot of debate about it. I think this is a bad year to have a Fourth of July show,” says Isle of Palms Mayor Jimmy Carroll.
Carroll says one of his biggest concerns of having a firework display is the added stress on public safety officials.
“On the Fourth of July, the day begins about eight o’clock in the morning and it goes until after midnight at night and that’s just a lot of time, a lot of effort, a lot of frustration,” says Carroll.
Carroll also believes holding normal Fourth of July celebrations wouldn’t promote safe social distancing.
“And I think this is just a bad precedent for us to be doing is promoting the Fourth of July, having fireworks and having everybody just packed on each other,” says Carroll.
Caroll doesn’t expect the cancellation to impact holiday travelers looking to hit the beach.
“People come here to vacation to enjoy our seven mile of wide sandy beaches, fireworks are just secondary,” says Carroll.
Officials said that they want to use the some $35,000 typically spent on the event to give city employees a one-time bonus, but no plans have been solidified.
Other municipalities are also considering changes, both Sullivan’s Island and Patriot’s Point say they are still working on plans for their annual celebrations. Over on Folly, Lynn Oliver, the President of the Folly Association of Businesses says they are also considering significant changes.
“There has not been a decision made as of yet but it’s learning more toward we’re going to cancel them,” says Oliver.
And like Carroll, Oliver says she’s still encouraging people to visit Folly Beach despite the possibility of not having an annual firework show.
“We would love to have everyone come as long as they behave themselves and social distance like they’re supposed to,” says Oliver.