Venice cancels Fourth of July fireworks because of COVID-19 financial, operational concerns

Fireworks won’t be lighting the night sky in Venice, Florida this Fourth of July due to COVID-19-related financial and operational concerns, says Venice city manager Ed Lavallee. 

According to Lavallee, the annual fireworks display costs about $35,000 to produce, which is typically subsidized with a gift from the Sertoma Club of Venice. However, since many special events have been canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic, the Sertoma Club is experiencing financial challenges.

Lavallee said the city budget is under scrutiny to conserve expenses where possible as a safeguard against future revenue losses due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

Plus, the governor’s executive order requiring social distancing in public places would prohibit a large crowd from gathering to watch the fireworks display. The event typically attracts huge crowds and Lavallee said it would not be possible to manage social distancing standards, provide crowd management, traffic management and public safety tasks.  

Lavalle said as much as the community enjoys watching the annual fireworks display, it is "prudent to defer this elective expense."