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Fort Myers Beach cancels July 4th events in wake of COVID-19

Posted at 9:08 PM, Jun 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-02 09:34:37-04

FORT MYERS BEACH, FLA — When it comes to the July 4th parade and fireworks display in Fort Myers Beach. You may not find a bigger fan, than Mayor Ray Murphy.

"No one loves a parade more than me. I get into the parades and the same thing with the fireworks, I love the fireworks," he said.

But despite his love for the festivities, Murphy says on Monday, he voted to pull the plug on the town's upcoming fourth of July parade and fireworks.

"It's not a fun decision to make but it was a necessary one," said Murphy.

And Murphy says it was an easy call to make after seeing a video of people packed together at a Memorial Day celebration in Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri.

"I didn't want to have that picture on our local TV, Fort Myers beach being that situation, that party," he said.

Health officials in Missouri say at least person who attended that packed party, has now tested positive for COVID-19.

"Where most of the people traditionally congregate to watch the fireworks is up on the north end of the island down by the pier, time square, what we call times square, and they would have been packed in there like sardines like they are every year, on top of each other. And that's just not feasible this year," said Murphy.

Monday's decision comes a few weeks after Cape coral made a similar one. The city told Fox 4 on May 19, that it is pushing its Red, White and Boom event back to Labor day.

“I know July 4th isn’t September 5th, but it is Labor day weekend and when you combine the two it’s gonna be one heck of a party," said Todd King, Cape Coral's Special Event's Coordinator.

Murphy says that's a possibility the town council has talked about, but they haven't quite landed on a date yet.

"One of the ones that was suggested was in September, during our slow time, they have the songwriters festival," he said.