LANCASTER (CBSLA) — The Fourth of July fireworks show in the city of Lancaster went on as planned on Saturday night, despite pleas from state and local officials not to hold such large public events to help prevent the spread of coronavirus.
To make sure the company contracted to stage the city’s event followed regulations, the Los Angeles County Fire Marshal visited the venue ahead of the show.
Lancaster Mayor Rex Parris accuses them of trying to shut the show down and sending threats.
“The State fire marshal got on the phone and scared everybody to death, threatened their livelihoods,” Parris said. “Threatened to close the company down.”
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health imposed a ban on public fireworks shows, citing increased coronavirus cases and hospitalizations, but Parris had previously said he believes his event will actually prevent people from holding unsafe gatherings on their own.
“If we don’t do this, what are people going to do, they’re going to throw parties, they’re going to celebrate on their own, this gives them a distraction that keeps them in the family unit without spreading this disease,” Parris said. “This gives them a distraction that keeps them in the family unit without spreading this disease.”
The Lancaster fireworks celebration wasn’t set up as usual with large crowds gathering closely together for the patriotic event. Instead, residents were encouraged to wear their masks, practice physical distancing and enjoy from a distance.
Elsewhere in Orange County at the Los Alamitos Joint Force Training Base, cars streamed into watch a revised July 4th celebration, facing similar restrictions.
Attendees in Los Alamitos had to go through health screenings, practice physical distancing and wear face coverings.
The guidelines at that event were part of a compromise the Los Alamitos City Council came up with to avoid canceling the show over coronavirus concerns.
As for Los Angeles County, where restrictions were tighter for the county as a whole, Parris doesn’t appear to be facing any consequences for going against requests from officials not to hold the city’s Independence Day event.
Both the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors and the Los Angeles County Fire Department say they will not take action against the Lancaster show.