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.”