The Fireworks Extravaganza on the Green in Cashiers has been canceled because of coronavirus-related issues.
“The continuing uncertainty of the pandemic and ongoing concern for the health and safety of participants were two of the key factors in making this decision,” said Ann Self Executive Director of The Village Green who organizes the annual community event.
She added, “We are profoundly disappointed that we cannot hold our traditional fireworks show in the heart of Cashiers.”
In 2014, when the county cut funding for the Cashiers fireworks display, The Village Green stepped up to preserve this holiday celebration. Since that time, The Village Green has been committed to presenting the fireworks extravaganza for the community.
The Village Green considered several aspects of the event with regard to the North Carolina three phase approach to easing COVID-19 restrictions and corresponding public health recommendations.
The move to Phase 2 was a more modest step forward than originally envisioned including the number of people (25) who can safely gather for outdoor events.
“Even before the Phase 2 announcement we knew that we would not be able to accommodate the thousands of attendees that this event draws under social-distancing guidelines,” said Self.
It is unclear when North Carolina can enter Phase 3 and what the gathering numbers might be. The COVID-19 economic crisis was another determinant. The Fireworks Extravaganza On the Green is an expensive event that relies on sponsors and individual donors for financial support for its production.
“Many people do not realize that The Village Green is a privately conserved park. We do not receive county funding,” said Self.
The fundraising target for the fireworks event is $25,000. No money has been donated in 2020 and The Village Green fundraising activities have been hampered by the coronavirus.
Self added that it also did not seem prudent to hold such a costly display with substantial job losses and struggling businesses.
The Village Green is working on alternative plans to celebrate the Fourth of July and America’s independence. These festivities will be announced closer to the holiday and in accordance with the concurrent health recommendations.
“We look forward to the day when we can bring the community together again,” Self said.