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City of Norman postpones Fourth of July Celebration until Labor Day weekend in response to COVID-19

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July 4 Reeves Park (17/20) (copy)

A couple stands together, watching the fireworks show at Reaves Park on July 4, 2017.

Norman’s 2020 Fourth of July Celebration has been postponed in order to limit the potential spread of COVID-19. 

The City of Norman announced in a Friday press release the annual event is tentatively rescheduled for Labor Day weekend on Sunday, Sept. 6 in Reaves Park. The event was rescheduled “out of an abundance of caution.” 

If the event proceeds as scheduled, it will feature a fireworks display and performances from local artists. The event also gives residents an opportunity to celebrate Norman, and health care and front-line workers. 

The celebration will be a “chance to come together as a community again,” according to the release. 

Jason Olsen, recreation superintendent for Norman Parks and Recreation, said the city hopes to have a better idea of where things stand with COVID-19 in September and to proceed with the event over Labor Day weekend. 

“I think it’s a good time to celebrate our frontline workers, our first responders [and] some of our other essential workers that have helped us get through the time we were in isolation and celebrate together as we get back to it,” Olsen said. 

Olsen said the city initially looked into proceeding with the fireworks show as scheduled without allowing guests to congregate at the park, but said it didn’t feel right.

“Part of the grandeur of being at a fireworks show is being in the park, getting to hear the music and getting to hear the thumps of the fireworks setting off,” Olsen said. “We wanted to continue that.”

Olsen said the city did not look to other surrounding celebrations in cities like Moore and Oklahoma City, but said other cities like Stillwater and Edmond have also canceled their Fourth of July events. Olsen also said Stillwater officials are looking into postponing the event until Labor Day weekend as well. 

The City of Moore’s Fourth of July event is currently expected to continue as planned, according to the City of Moore website. The event will be held at Buck Thomas Park from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. and will feature food trucks, a car show and live music in addition to the fireworks show.

OKC 4th Fest at Riversport Adventures is listed as “pending” on Riversport’s website, but is scheduled to start at 4 p.m. with fireworks likely starting around 9:45 p.m. Admission to this event is free, but parking is $10, according to the event page. 

More information about the Norman event will be provided as it becomes available, according to the release. 


This article was updated at 5:22 June 8 to include Olson's comments.

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Jordan Hayden is a journalism junior serving as a news reporter and copy editor at The Daily. Previously she served as the fall 2018 and spring 2019 assistant engagement editor.

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