Fireworks over Cullman!

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Spectators enjoy the Fireworks over Cullman event Saturday night at Heritage Park. (W.C. Mann for The Cullman Tribune)

CULLMAN, Ala. – Despite concerns about COVID-19, the City of Cullman put on its 4th of July fireworks show at Heritage Park Saturday evening while taking precautions to protect attendees through social distancing.

Mayor Woody Jacobs on Saturday afternoon told The Tribune, “We felt like where Heritage Park was located, it was a good opportunity to be able to have fireworks, and people be able to watch it without having to gather in large groups. We’re not letting them inside the park, but they can park all around and watch it, kind of like a drive-in movie kind of a situation. We wish we could have been able to do it the old-fashioned way like we used to, but it would have just been too many people in one place. And people, once you get them in a large group, they don’t tend to keep their distance like they need to, right now.”

The mayor was looking forward to a big show, saying, “I went by there earlier and the guys were setting up, and they were excited to be here. And they said that we had a really good show, so I’m kind of excited, waiting on it.”

Fireworks and the Fourth

According to History.com, the use of fireworks in celebrations of American independence goes all the way back to the very first anniversary of the official adoption of the Declaration of Independence. On July 4, 1777 the city of Philadelphia held an observance that included the decoration of military ships in the river, the firing of 13-gun salutes from those ships to honor the 13 states, dinners, military drill demonstrations and music. 

At the conclusion of the evening, according to Philadelphia’s “Evening Post,” “The evening was closed with the ringing of bells, and at night there was a grand exhibition of fireworks on the Commons, and the city was beautifully illuminated.”

So, fireworks are, historically, an integral part of Independence Day celebrations that are not quite the same without them. Cullman’s city government agreed.

Said Jacobs, “It is the 4th of July, and people expect a little fireworks, so we wanted to give it to them!”

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W.C. Mann

craig@cullmantribune.com