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Dowagiac going forward with annual fireworks display

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DOWAGIAC, Mich. -- COVID-19 will change the way many celebrate Independence Day this year and the pandemic has caused most local fireworks shows to be cancelled. But — not in Dowagiac.

The event will be held at the Dowagiac Municipal Airport Friday. It’s put on each year by the Young Professionals of Greater Dowagiac and they were granted permission by the city to continue the event this year.

“We talked to them a little bit about social distancing, how to spread people out a little bit more so not everybody gets compacted into one area,” said Steve Grinnewald, Director of Public Safety at the Dowagiac Police Department.
This year, the Young Professionals have purchased special fireworks — that go higher in the sky — so onlookers can watch from their yard or elsewhere in town.
“There is plenty of area if you come to Russom Park, if you come around the high school area, there are plenty of places that you can park and be well away from each other,” said Grinnewald.
Some tourists, who spend every summer in Dowagiac, say they’re glad to see the holiday tradition continue.

“I would feel comfortable going to see the fireworks because we would put a mask on and we could keep social distancing and just take care of ourselves, like most people should be able to do. People need to get out and start living again, because this is terrible,” said Dale and Dan Danaher.

If residents would rather do their own fireworks, officers say that’s just fine – since there’s no ordinance prohibiting fireworks – but just ask people to not forget to be safe.

“Just like any other year, alcohol creates problems. If you’re going to use fireworks, if you’re going to be around those types of things don’t drink, don’t drive, stay as safe as possible,” said Grinnewald.

The fireworks show will be at dusk Friday at Russom Park.

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