Port Royal, Parris Island cancel July 4 fireworks shows


By Mike McCombs and Ginger Wareham

There will be a lot less boom on the Fourth of July 4 in the Beaufort area this year.

Port Royal Town Council has made decision to cancel the annual Independence Day Fireworks Display scheduled for Saturday, July 4.

The decision was made, according to Port Royal Town Manager Van Willis, in reaction to the cancelation of the annual Independence Day Celebration at Marine Corps Recruiting Depot Parris Island.

“Once we got word that Parris Island was canceling (its show), we had to decide,” Willis said by phone Thursday afternoon. “… based upon the concerns about the spread of COVID-19 and large social gatherings, we went ahead and canceled.”

With an anticipated attendance of more than 3,000 people at the Sands Beach, Willis said it would be challenging to implement and enforce any type of social distancing as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control.

Port Royal Town Council felt that it was important to take the cautionary steps now to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus in the community.

Willis said the town learned of Parris Island’s decision “several weeks ago.” There was worry that with no fireworks to watch from Parris Island, people would have flocked to Port Royal in abnormally large numbers, exacerbating the situation.

“There was a worry there would be mayhem,” Willis said, “and we didn’t want that.”

A spokesperson from Marine Corps recruiting Depot Parris Island could not confirm Thursday afternoon that the installation’s fireworks celebration had been canceled.

Mike McCombs is the editor of The Island News and can be reached at TheIslandNews@gmail.com.

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