FOLSOM (CBS 13) — Major firework shows are canceled this year from Sacramento to Manteca, but there are still things you can do to celebrate the holiday weekend at a distance.
Crowded firework shows and grilling with your friends is out this year, leaving holiday plans up in the air.
“I had a plan to actually go down to Orange County, but I’m probably not anymore,” said Brittney Davis.
“There is really nothing else to do. There is no Fourth of July celebrations, there are no fireworks shows. So, about the only thing you can do is be with friends and family,” said David Sansenbach.
Sacramento County Parks remain open this holiday weekend. State and local officials say BBQs in your backyard are allowed, as long as you are with your immediate family.
“I’m definitely hanging out with family and practice social distancing,” said Harris Phomsoubandara
Phomsoubandara started celebrating early at Folsom Lake State Park to avoid the crowds this weekend.
“I come here a lot so I know around this time no-one is here, so I took advantage of it,” he said.
Folsom Lake Park officials announced Thursday, that they plan to operate at 75% capacity during the holiday to aid in social distancing, adding to expect closures and delays. The announcement comes after Gov. Newsom’s recommendations for counties this weekend.
In order to comply with the latest guidelines from @CAgovernor to prevent the spread of Covid-19 @FolsomLake units will be operating at 75% capacity during this holiday weekend to aid social distancing. Expect closures and delays. Thank you for your patience.
— Folsom Lake (@FolsomLake) July 1, 2020
“We are trying to build around a framework of being proactive this weekend and get us through Fourth of July weekend in a way where we are not seeing a significant increase and spike in cases,” said Gov. Newsom in a Thursday press conference.
“We anticipate large crowds as usual for this upcoming holiday weekend and urge visitors to plan ahead and arrive early. State Parks staff will monitor visitation and physical distancing over the weekend. Measures to modify operations, such as limited parking and closure of trails, will be taken where needed to limit overcrowding,” said Adeline Yee, California State Parks Public Information Officer.
Some local residents believe limiting park capacities is not needed.
“I’m not too happy. You know, I think you are pretty much forced to social distance out here and I think that is an overreach in regulation,” Sansenbach explained.
The Folsom Chamber of Commerce is replacing the 60th anniversary of the Folsom Pro Rodeo that normally brings thousands with a drive-in movie and fireworks experience July 3rd with a 1,000 car capacity.
“We encourage people to do the right thing. we have valet people that will be parking people, so there will be correct spacing it won’t be random. We have flyers, PSA announcements on the screen reminding people. I think we are doing everything we can,” said Joe Gagliardi, President and CEO of the Folsom Chamber of Commerce.
Large TV screens will show a movie, as people listen from their car at an empty field at Alder Creek Parkway and East Bidwell. The Chamber will be giving out masks for those who do not have them. Gagliardi said there will also be constant reminders to social distance while keeping the celebration alive.
“We wanted the community to be able to still come out and celebrate Independence Day,” he said. “This is an opportunity to be outdoors in a confined area and with mask coverings and with the opportunity to have social distancing.”
Those planning to go to state parks are asked to take precautions.
“The public is reminded to avoid road trips and stay close to home, maintain physical distancing, wear a face covering when a physical distance of six feet from others who are not from the immediate household members cannot be maintained, and avoid congregating. This means no gatherings, picnics or parties. Visitors are being asked to leave if there are too many people to allow for the required physical distance,” Yee said.