Cloquet 4th of July fireworks canceled

The Independence Day celebrations in Cloquet for 2020 were canceled Tuesday, June 2.

A fireworks display lights up the sky in 2018 after the Foruth of July parade in Cloquet. The coronavirus pandemic and the crowds a display might bring caused the Cloquet City Council to cancel the 2020 celebrations. (Pine Journal file photo)

The Cloquet City Council voted unanimously to cancel all Fourth of July festivities for 2020 because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic during its meeting Tuesday, June 2.

Even without concerns about the outbreak, City Administrator Tim Peterson was concerned about the number of people the events would bring to the city. Duluth has postponed its fireworks display until Labor Day and Moose Lake canceled its program earlier.

With Cloquet as one of the only cities with events still on the schedule, it could bring unprecedented crowds to the parade, fireworks and other events. Peterson questioned whether Cloquet’s infrastructure could handle the number of people that would flock to the city.

“We simply cannot handle having that many people that have lost their events traveling to the city of Cloquet,” Peterson said. “With trying to keep everybody safe, I just don’t see any way that we can have that many people. This isn’t even talking about social distancing, I just don’t think we can handle that many people coming to town.”

At Large Councilor Lara Wilkinson asked if the fireworks could be moved to Labor Day, as well. Peterson said the matter was discussed, but the Fourth of July planning committee had asked to save the money it’s already raised for the 2021 celebration.


“I think it’s the right decision,” Ward 3 Councilor Chris Swanson said. “It’s a bummer that we are not able to do that, but I think it’s the right decision to keep the people in our community safe and everybody else, too.”

Jamey Malcomb has a been high school sports reporter for the Duluth News Tribune since October 2021. He spent the previous six years covering news and sports for the Lake County News-Chronicle in Two Harbors and the Cloquet Pine Journal. He graduated from the George Washington University in 1999 with a bachelor's degree in history and literature and also holds a master's degree in secondary English education from George Mason University.
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