This will be a Fourth of July like no other in recent memory. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused most cities to cancel or greatly cut back on the annual celebration of American independence. And Lee County is no different. All towns that usually have some sort of celebration events and have canceled them outright are Baldwyn, Guntown, Plantersville and Verona. Shannon usually does not have any kind of observance on the fourth.

However, several towns in the county are having fireworks displays – with an asterisk.

Nettleton, Saltillo and Tupelo will have fireworks-only shows all starting at about 9 p.m. Saturday night. There will be no music, vendors, concessions, children’s activities or political speaking at any of them.

Nettleton’s fireworks will be at Roy Black Memorial Park on Miss. Hwy. 6 in the north part of town. Attendees are asked to stay in their cars before the fireworks begin and around their cars and to maintain social distancing during the show.

Saltillo will hold its display at Saltillo High School. Attendees are asked to park in the parking lots at the high school and adjacent Saltillo Primary School. Again, they are asked to stay in or around their cars and maintain social distancing.

Tupelo’s fireworks will be at Fairpark and city officials are suggesting the same safety measures as the other two towns, including wearing face masks outside of vehicles. Alex Farned, director of Tupelo Parks & Recreation, said the fireworks show will be livestreamed on the mayor’s Facebook page and likely on the Parks & Rec’s Facebook page.

At least one event in the county will go on as usual. The Brewer Fourth of July parade lines up at 8:30 a.m. in the parking lot of Brewer United Methodist Church and begins at 9 a.m. Due to its more than 4-mile route, according to organizer Vickie Lindsey, and its participation by motorized vehicles, social distancing has always been a part of the parade.

There is no registration or entry fee – just show up ready to roll. Most all city, county and state offices will be closed Friday, July 3.

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