Fourth of July fireworks aren't happening in Dewey Beach this holiday weekend.
On Facebook, beach business owner Alex Pires, who was putting on the fireworks show, said:
"Governor Carney has ordered us to cancel the 4th of July fireworks. Sorry."
The cancellation comes hours after Governor Carney said bar services at beach establishments would end starting this Friday. The closure will last "indefinitely." State park beaches will also be limiting visitors, opening at 60 percent capacity.
Pires had also received a letter from the Delaware Division of Small Business, which said the fireworks event posed a "significant health risk" and was illegal. The letter, dated June 30, 2020, alleged Pires did not apply for a permit to host a large gathering as required by the current COVID-19 State of Emergency.
"The Division of Small Business has become aware that you intend to host a fireworks event of more than two-hundred and fifty (250) people on Saturday, July 4, 2020 in Dewey Beach, DE. Based on public postings and advertisements, you are actively encouraging people to crowd your establishments, including encouraging standing room at your restaurants which is currently prohibited, and the public beach in Dewey Beach. Because you are hosting an event of more than two-hundred and fifty (250) people, you were required to submit a large gathering and event plan seven (7) days in advance of the event. You did not submit any plan and have not addressed any of the minimum requirements found in the Twenty-First Modification."
Pires had planned to set off the fireworks from a barge in the bay, outside town limits, in front of Northbeach and Rusty Rudder--with fireworks viewable from the beach.
Other cities and towns had canceled their Independence Day celebration and fireworks displays long before now amid coronavirus concerns.