Roeland Park, Fairway and Westwood cancel annual Fourth of July fireworks display due to COVID-19 concerns

The partnering cities unanimously agreed that it was in the best interest of public health and safety to cancel the 2020 fireworks display. Photo used under a Creative Commons license.

The cities of Roeland Park, Fairway and Westwood on Wednesday morning announced the cancellation of the joint, annual Fourth of July fireworks display due to the coronavirus pandemic.

City officials from all three cities and various departments — administration, public safety, public works and public relations — as well as Bishop Miege High School staff met virtually on May 7 to discuss whether or not to host the annual event. Originally scheduled for July 3 at Bishop Miege, 5041 Reinhardt Drive, the cities decided to cancel the display in an effort “to continue to stop and slow the spread of COVID-19,” according to a press release.

“This was a hard decision for the city partners to make, but the decision was made unanimously recognizing that the safety and health of the community is the top priority,” the release reads.

Additionally, the cities said they acknowledge during this economically uncertain time, the fireworks display budget can be used for other city services.

Other northeast Johnson County cities like Leawood are having discussions about the future of their fireworks display plans. Prairie Village in April rescinded its previous approval for a Fourth of July fireworks display at Meadowbrook Park due to the pandemic, as well.

The annual fireworks display takes place on the grounds of Bishop Miege, St. Agnes Catholic Church, 5250 Mission Road, and St. Agnes Catholic School, 5130 Mission Road. The cities said in the release that they are looking forward to planning the July 2021 celebration.