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Menifee cancels Independence Day festival, moves forward with fireworks show

Menifee City Council voted unanimously to move forward with the city’s historic Independence Day Celebration with a fireworks display only and no other event activities. The council considered this amid COVID-19 social distancing challenges — provided the county and/or state do not ban the display moving forward.

“It is very important for the city to celebrate Independence Day especially now, when residents are closed in, complying with social distancing, and having limitations placed on them about interacting with neighbors and other community members,” said Mayor Pro Tem Matt Liesemeyer. “We need to provide our residents with hope, and some type of normalcy, as we are a very patriotic City, but we can also do it in a safe environment.”

The proposed Independence Day Fireworks Show is set for Saturday, June 27, at 9 p.m. The city plans to send out event details once they are solidified.

During a special council meeting on Thursday, councilmembers discussed four options presented by Community Services staff, which included holding the regular event with additional health and safety measures; limiting attendance through a ticketed system; fireworks display only to view from parked cars or nearby homes only and cancel the in-person components and parade; and cancel the entire event and add a fireworks display to a future event.

The council approved to host a fireworks display and cancel the regular park activities such as the kid’s zone, vendors or parade. The option is as a way to assist with resident health and safety and comply with state orders for social distancing and group gatherings.

“We need to continue this piece of our city history to celebrate as a community the best we can, especially during this pandemic, but we need to do it in a way that maintains Menifee’s health and safety,” said Mayor Bill Zimmerman. “This option also allows the City to save critical revenue for other vital city services, but also provides a mechanism for a community event that Menifee has come to expect and enjoy.”

The council directed staff to enhance the show with the cost savings of previously canceled events due to COVID-19, and only use a small part of the savings to make the historic fireworks show better than years past, as a way to make it up to residents for the community events the city was forced to cancel or postpone because of COVID-19 group gathering restrictions.

For more information about Menifee’s Independence Day Fireworks Celebration, contact the city’s Community Services Department at 951-723-3880 or email Menifee Community Service Director Jonathan Nicks at [email protected]

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