The effects of COVID-19 continue to be felt as the City of Dodge City announced the cancellation of the Dodge City Fourth of July Celebration fireworks display.


According to city officials, the planning committee made up of city staff, community partners and volunteers, made the decision to cancel the display.


According to co-chair of the planning committee Dodge City Fire Chief Ken Spencer, there were two reasons for the cancellation.


“At the time, it was still very uncertain where we would be with social distancing and the ability to have large gatherings by July 4,” Spencer said. “We had to have a contract finalized by mid-May, and we didn’t know if it would be feasible.


“The negative economic impact that the pandemic has put on both businesses and government entities made it hard to justify the cost of the show this year,” Spencer said.


The fireworks display is made possible through monetary donations made by individuals and businesses to go along with funding from the city and Ford County.


Planning will now shift toward the 2021 fireworks display.


Individuals or businesses can make a donation to the City of Dodge City – Community Fireworks Fund, 806 N. 2nd Ave., Dodge City, KS 67801, or contact Spencer for more information at 620-225-8187.


Temporary suspension of fireworks ban


Every year there is an approval needed to temporarily suspended the fireworks ban near the Fourth of July to allow citizens to shoot off fireworks within the city limits.


For 2020, the city commissioners approved the suspension to occur from July 3-5 between 10 a.m. and 11 p.m.


According to city officials, fireworks cannot be discharged on public property, including public parks, public recreation areas such as ball fields and soccer fields, any school grounds including school playgrounds and athletic facilities, as well as any public rights-of-way or public parking areas.


According to the Dodge City Fire Department, they advise residents to handle fireworks with safety and supervise children.


"It is illegal to store fireworks in the city limits when the ban is in place," city public information officer Abbey Martin said. "Residents are encouraged only to purchase what can be used in the three days they are allowed to be discharged, and please clean up and dispose of fireworks debris and litter properly."


To contact the writer, email vmarshall@dodgeglobe.com