Rotary Club seeking permits for July 4 fireworks
The Hubbard County Board approved the Park Rapids Rotary Club’s permit for a Fourth of July fireworks display at Heartland Park.
“The Rotary Club feels that we can do a safe fireworks show, given the circumstances and everything that’s been cancelled,” said Rotarian Sue Tomte in a phone interview. “The county agreed that we could close Heartland Park at 9 p.m. There will be no bathrooms. There’s nothing to do. There is no concert. There is no Firecracker Footrace. So we’re not having the portapotties. We don’t want people to gather there. We want them to abide by the CDC guidelines for social distancing on that day.”
She met with county commissioners at their June 2 meeting. The county unanimously approved the permit for use of the park.
On Tuesday, Rotary will seek approval from the Park Rapids City Council to close Red Bridge Park at 9 p.m. on July 4.
One other condition, Tomte noted, would be if the state specifically disallows fireworks displays. State Sen. Paul Utke is checking with his counterparts, she said, to verify that, if Rotary has a COVID-19 safety plan, it would be permitted.
Given that the Rotary Club believes the fireworks can be done safely, “we want to have one thing that isn’t cancelled” this summer, Tomte said, adding the show can be observed throughout the community in vehicles, rooftops, boats and other appropriate locales.
“All the commissioners were very supportive of it and said we can expect people to social distance. We can expect them to appreciate this,” she said.
County commissioner David De La Hunt spoke with Hubbard County Sheriff Cory Aukes and Park Rapids Police Chief Jeff Appel. “They didn’t see any issues with it from their perspective,” Tomte reported. “From my perspective, if we don’t have it, everybody will go out and buy fireworks and we may have a much bigger issue. Everybody will be shooting off their own.”