Due to social distancing mandates, the Town of Aberdeen Board agreed at its meeting Monday that it is not likely that the town will be open for five to six thousand people by the Fourth of July. Caution was the tone in committing to the fireworks because it is difficult to predict the COVID-19 phase the state will be under, so further discussion will be held in two weeks and possibly further.
It was suggested that visitors enjoy the fireworks from their cars, but it was brought to attention that the town had limited parking and that people will leave their cars and break social distancing guidelines.
While the discussion on fireworks is ongoing, there will be no band, vendors or kid’s zone. The concern of the best barricade type around Aberdeen Lake and having more police force was discussed. Historically, people from Hamlet, Raeford and Troy have also attended the town’s festivities.
“How will we tell people who don’t even live here to not come? They will assume we’ll be doing it,” Mayor Robert Farrell said.
It was decided to use road sign notices of the cancellation of the daytime festivities and possible fireworks cancellation.
“Staying in cars would not be a terrible situation,” Town Manager Paul Sabiston said. “A lot of people being roadside for 1.5 hours…I’ve been around other events and really no place to go, and they go to different roads. It’s a little chaotic, but police are out there, and it comes and goes. We’ll have our hands full, but it’s worth it.”
Law enforcement will investigate types of barricades.
“People are tired of being penned up. Traditionally, people have come here year after year after year,” Farrell said.
Another alternative being discussed on the Fourth of July historic Aberdeen Lake fireworks is a Labor Day celebration – the “Fifth of September Festival.”
Written by Sandhills Sentinel Journalism Intern Stephanie M. Sellers.
Feature photo: Children participating in 2018 Aberdeen Independence Day festivities.