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Oconomowoc fireworks draw crowd despite pandemic

Posted at 10:10 PM, Jul 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-04 13:09:15-04

OCONOMOWOC — Fireworks in Oconomowoc drew a crowd of people the day before the July 4 holiday.

The coronavirus concerns have forced many cities to cancel fireworks shows, but Oconomowoc was one of few cities to keep its show.

Jennifer Buss said she won't skip on her yearly tradition in her hometown.

"Independence and freedom is more important than anything else," Buss said.

She showed up to Fowler Park early to get a spot.

"We know that our group is going to be approximately seven to eight people and by the time we put out a blanket and have a couple of us in chairs there’s still going to be that social distance factor," Buss said. "But it all is a matter of being polite and having that courtesy towards others."

Earlier this week, the City of Oconomowoc posted on Facebook that going forward with the fireworks show was not an easy decision and expressed concerns over large crowds. The post encouraged people to be responsible and maintain social distancing.

Signs at Fowler Park reminded people to stay six feet apart and wear masks. Free masks were also offered, but not many people wore them.

Scott Ashley and Carol Voisse said they weren't concerned about people not wearing masks. They picked a spot to watch the show so they would be far away from others. For the most part, people spaced out. The fireworks show was also live-streamed online for those who wanted to watch from home.

"It’s a beautiful night and you can social distance, so I feel very safe," Voisse said.

Families from other cities felt the same. Many said they couldn't imagine a year without fourth of July fireworks, even during a pandemic.

"In Milwaukee, they just canceled it, I didn’t like it," said Syria Florentino.

"Enjoy, be wise, and pray a lot," said Megan Pena.

As of Friday, Waukesha County has 275 active COVID-19 cases and 990 recoveries. The Wisconsin Department of Health Services says activity level in Waukesha County is considered high.

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