• 54°

Annual July 4 celebration in Northampton canceled

JACKSON – Unlike previous years, there will be no fireworks lighting up the skies in Northampton County on July 4. The Northampton Chamber of Commerce officially decided this week to cancel the annual event.

“Our executive committee met and we made the decision to cancel the July 4 celebration due to COVID-19 out of concern for our citizens,” said Northampton Chamber Director Judy Collier. “If we saved one person from getting sick, it’s worth it. So that’s the reason we canceled it.”

Collier noted that funding was not a factor in their unanimous decision, and she already has the fireworks and band booked for next year instead.

“It was really with deep regret we had to cancel it, because this is one event that our citizens really enjoy,” Collier explained.

She said they waited until the governor’s announcement of Phase 2 to make the decision. Collier noted that even if the state was under Phase 3 reopening guidelines by the time of the event, she still did not think it would be a good idea to hold large gatherings.

The celebration, which has been held outdoors at the Cultural and Wellness Center in Jackson for the past several years, usually draws a large crowd to enjoy live music, food vendors, and the spectacular fireworks show to cap off the event. It also draws in people from outside Northampton County as well.

In addition to the Independence Day celebration, two other Chamber of Commerce sponsored annual events are also being considered for cancelation or rescheduling. Collier said the annual membership meeting and banquet scheduled in June has been postponed, and they’ll reassess the situation in a few months to see if it’s possible to hold it later in the year. Similarly, Collier said they will also make a decision later about the annual 5K race usually held each September.

She said it all just depended on the conditions as the year continued. Collier urged people to continue following health and safety guidelines such as practicing social distancing, washing your hands, and wearing a mask.

“I just hope everyone has a safe summer. Next year will be even bigger and better,” she concluded.