Sundridge and area residents are going to have to wait a while for Canada Day fireworks celebrations. A fireworks display planned for Sunday at the local wharf has been cancelled. Proposed re-scheduled dates are to have the fireworks either July 25 or Aug. 29, both of which are Sundays. When the Sundridge Strong Joly Recreation Committee was organizing the event, the intent of the committee was to have residents remain in their vehicles at Lions Park in an effort to follow the COVID-19 rules and guidelines. However, Sundridge Coun. Steve Hicks, who is a member of the recreation committee, said the more he thought about this weekend show, “the more I think it's a bad idea.” Hicks told council that although the goal was to have people watch the fireworks from inside their vehicles, anytime anyone goes to Lions Park, people are either sitting or swimming. Hicks says they maintain social distancing but they are not in their cars. “So what kind of grounds do we have to enforce people staying in their cars with our bylaw enforcement officer when we don't have a bylaw in place to do that?” Hicks asked. “We're not being realistic to ask people to stay in their cars.” Hicks and Deputy Mayor Shawn Jackson, also a member of the recreation committee, both agreed it was best to postpone the fireworks show to a later time when Ontario has opened up a bit more and doesn't face as many COVID restrictions. “We're just not there yet,” said Jackson. Coun. Barbara Belrose said by waiting a little longer, perhaps the municipality can turn the fireworks into a bigger event by celebrating the near end of COVID.
Rocco Frangione is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works out of the North Bay Nugget. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada.
Rocco Frangione, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The North Bay Nugget