LAKELAND, Fla. - The City of Lakeland announced Friday it is canceling the 2020 'Red, White and Kaboom' Fourth of July celebration due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The city said this year's event would have had a smaller footprint due to construction in downtown -- which would have led to a large crowd in a more confined area.
"The reduced footprint would cause the already large crowd that attends the annual event to gather into a more compact area," officials said. "The reduced footprint for the event has now been compounded by the unknown of the coronavirus."
The sponsors of the annual event said the decision was not made lightly.
“T. Mims Corp is disappointed we won’t be able to celebrate with our friends, family and the community at large during Red White and Kaboom this year. But, we know that the safety and well-being of our greater Lakeland community is the most important treasure we have,” said Paula and Tom Mims.
Lakeland isn't the only city in the Tampa Bay area to cancel its Independence Day fireworks. The city of Venice in Sarasota County made a similar announcement Friday morning, saying it would not be possible to manage social distancing standards with a large crowd gathered to watch the skies.
"As much as the public enjoys the annual fireworks display, under these circumstances it is prudent to defer this elective expense," Venice City manager Ed Lavallee said.