The skies over Delta will burst with fireworks in July despite the cancellation of Independence Day events in surrounding communities.
The village Eagles Lodge #2597 decided last week to sponsor the annual fireworks show July 11 at dusk. While the show is usually held as part of the village’s annual Chicken Fest, Delta Eagles Secretary Randy Simon said when the festival was canceled due to the novel coronavirus threat the Eagles didn’t want to disappoint.
“We just feel the community would appreciate doing something normal,” he said. “This is just a part of something we may be able to do to make it a celebration. It gives people a chance to get out.”
The approximately 20-minute, $6,500 fireworks show will be based at the Delta High School football field but that area will be closed to the public. Instead, parking areas for in-car viewing will be set up at Delta Middle School on Panther Pride Drive and at Trinity Lutheran Church on Taylor Street, and likely by spectators wherever a good viewing spot can be found.
Simon said people are strongly encouraged to stay in their cars during the event, but social distancing restrictions will be enforced for those who don’t. He said masks won’t be a requirement but are also strongly suggested.
“We would like them to have masks on,” he said.
In the spirit of the canceled Chicken Fest, $10 chicken dinners will be sold 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. at a drive-through in the rear of the Eagles building at 304 W. Main St. Additionally, efforts are being made to try to provide one or two food vendors on Main Street near the building.
Delta Mayor Bob Gilbert said police will control traffic patterns in anticipation of multitudes of visitors from outside the village, since no other fireworks celebrations are scheduled in the area. Fireworks shows have been canceled or postponed in Wauseon, Swanton, and Toledo, among other communities.
“They’re going to prepare to handle any situation,” Gilbert said of the police department. “A lot of the areas are not having fireworks, so we’re going to prepare for the worst and hope for the best. Potentially thousands of people could try to converge in and around Delta. It could be quite a crowd.”
Gilbert said the fireworks spectators will be encouraged to keep their distance from one another.
“We’re going to rely on people to use their heads and do what’s right. Hopefully, they wear masks and don’t congregate,” he said.
Reach David J. Coehrs at 419-335-2010.