The Falmouth July 4 Fireworks are canceled for the second year in a row. The show is one of Falmouth’s signature events as it draws 30,000 to 35,000 people to the southern shoreline from Nobska Light to Menauhant Beach.
“We know people are disappointed, and we are, too, but the event does not yet meet state and local COVID-19 guidelines,” said Carolyn Woods, chairman of the volunteer-based Falmouth Fireworks Committee.
According to a press release the committee sent out earlier this week, the town has not been able to give the organization clearance for this year’s fireworks.
“Current CDC guidelines along with the protocols set by the state have created an extensive list of unknowns regarding holding an event of this size safely,” the release reads.
Ms. Woods said even if the gathering restrictions are relaxed before July 4, it would be impossible to organize since many required deadlines would have been missed.
“The event takes year-round planning and fundraising,” she said. “We start on July 5 for the following year’s show.”
In order to assure that the fireworks can take place, within 60 days of July 4, non-refundable deposits and insurance payments must be paid out to the contractor, Atlas PyroVision, and a 60-day notice must be given to Falmouth police and fire departments.
The committee has received negative comments on social media and in emails since they announced the cancellation earlier this week. People have called into question the decision, saying they will go elsewhere for fireworks and are asking where the fundraising dollars are being spent.
“As far as I know, many other towns including Plymouth and Oak Bluffs have also canceled their shows this year,” Ms. Woods said. “It’s not like we can control the crowds that enter the beach area to watch. People park all over town and walk to the beaches,” Ms. Woods said.
The fireworks cost $75,000. The committee raises through yearly themed T-shirts, sponsorships, donations and fundraising events. Because of the pandemic, the group was not able to raise the funds.
“This past year has proven to be extremely difficult in the solicitation of funding, as the majority of our funding comes through private and local business contributors that have been severely impacted by COVID,” she said.
Without a show to design a T-shirt, the committee is now selling a recently-published commemorative book “40 Years of Falmouth Fireworks—A Patriotic Tribute,” featuring 30 images of Karen Rinaldo’s annual fireworks T-shirt designs, as well as descriptions, historical information, and some fun facts about Falmouth. A copy can be purchased at several locations around Falmouth that are listed at FalmouthFireworks.org, or on its Facebook page. On Memorial Day, they will be for sale outside Windfall Market. The funds will go toward a 2022 fireworks show.
The committee is working on an alternative July 4 event. Preliminary plans include a patriotic home-decorating contest. More information will be forthcoming.