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Can you believe the Fourth of July is a little more than two-and-a-half months away?

After forgoing its aerial spectacular for Independence Day 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic and fears of spreading the disease, DeBary leaders are confident the holiday this year will not be a dud.

“This fireworks show is in place,” DeBary Parks and Recreation Director Jason Schaitz said. “Our recommendation is to move forward with this event.”

The city’s celebration of the nation’s 245th birthday will take place Sunday, July 4, at Gemini Springs Park, 37 Dirksen Drive in DeBary.

The park will be open for games, activities, music and picnics, but some public-health precautions will be in place, such as more frequent sanitizing of restrooms, convenient spacing of hand-sanitizing stations, and greater spacing between vendors.

“We are still in the tail end of COVID,” Schaitz said. “We’ll have a COVID plan in place.”

That plan, he noted, calls for reminders about social distancing, even in the outdoor setting.

“Masks will be encouraged, but will not be required,” Schaitz added.

The city has also contracted with Citizen Event Organizers, a homegrown nonprofit group, to arrange and promote the holiday celebration. CEO is now working to enlist sponsors and vendors for the event.

DeBary, according to City Manager Carmen Rosamonda, has already paid a $10,000 deposit to the contractor for the fireworks display.

Xtreme FX LLC of Port Charlotte was paid half the $20,000 cost for last year’s July Fourth celebration, which was canceled, as were many other fireworks shows and outdoor gatherings across the region and across the country.

If the fireworks show goes ahead as now planned, the city will then be obligated to pay Xtreme FX the $10,000 balance.

“I think for this community it will be important to have a Fourth of July event,” Mayor Karen Chasez said. “I think having a fireworks show for this community is a step toward normalcy. … Last year was a horrible year.”

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Born in Virginia, Al spent his youth in Tennessee, North Carolina and Virginia, and first moved to DeLand in 1969. He graduated from Stetson University in 1971, and returned to West Volusia in 1985. Al began working for The Beacon as a stringer in 1999, contributing articles on county and municipal government and, when he left his job as the one-man news department at Radio Station WXVQ, began working at The Beacon full time.


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