Antioch July 4th celebration, parade and fireworks cancelled

Photo of Antioch’s 2019 July 4th fireworks show by Allen Payton.

As a reminder, due to the COVID-19 public health crisis, during their April 28, 2020 meeting the Antioch City Council decided to cancel the annual Independence Day celebration which included the parade, day-long activities, and fireworks show planned for July 4th with community partner Celebrate Antioch Foundation. Families are encouraged to enjoy the holiday weekend close to home.

Also, Sheriff David Livingston reminds all residents that fireworks are illegal in Contra Costa County. Contra Costa County is a ‘fireworks-free zone’; the sale, possession or use of fireworks of all types and sizes (including Safe & Sane fireworks) are banned in the county (County ordinance 44-2.002). This includes the unincorporated areas as well as the cities.

Deputy Sheriffs and officers on patrol will confiscate all fireworks. Typical fireworks problems in the past have included aerial skyrockets of varying sizes, from bottle rockets to three-inch mortar launched shells. Fireworks purchased in neighboring counties, other states, or over the internet are illegal to use or possess in Contra Costa County.

Offenders could also face up to $500 in fines. Possession of dangerous fireworks, like M-80’s or cherry bombs, constitute a felony and could result in fines of up to $5,000 and imprisonment. Violators may either receive a citation in the case of a misdemeanor, or they could be booked in jail for felony use or possession of fireworks.

Photo by CCCSheriff.

Following are the minutes from the April 28, 2020 council meeting agenda item #4 regarding cancelling the July 4th celebration and other summer events:

“Councilmember Motts, President of the Celebrate Antioch Foundation, reported that they had cancelled the Mother’s Day Art and Wine Walk and Father’s Day Car Show. She stated they supported the cancellation of the 4th of July activities for this year noting that if they did so now, they could move forward with seeking reimbursement for the fees committed for the fireworks.

Councilmember Thorpe thank(ed) Director of Parks and Recreation Kaiser for the report. He stated he felt these decisions were better left up to those who had organized the events.

Councilmember Wilson stated she appreciated the work done by Celebrate Antioch Foundation and while she was disappointed that the 4th of July events may be cancelled, she understood the public health safety issues.

In response to Councilmember Wilson, Director of Parks and Recreation Kaiser responded that staff was researching creative ways to work within the parameters of the Shelter in Place guidelines.

Councilmember Wilson suggested staff consider hosting online live concerts to replace the summer concert series.

Councilmember Ogorchock stated that she appreciated the Recreation Department’s hard work. She recognized Councilmember Motts and the Celebrate Antioch Foundation for facilitating the 4th of July celebration and other community events. She supported Councilmember Motts’ suggestion to cancel the 4th of July celebration for this year.

Councilmember Thorpe stated he appreciated the Recreation staff and the Celebrate Antioch Foundation. He agreed with the recommendation from Councilmember Motts to cancel the events for this year.

Mayor Wright requested no money be expended for the events at this time. He stated he looked forward to future events that worked within the parameters of the Shelter in Place guidelines.

Director of Parks and Recreation Kaiser urged Council to send her ideas for future events. She announced that the Parks and Recreation staff had selected 50 families to receive treat bags from the City that would be distributed in accordance with social distancing guidelines.

Following discussion, Council agreed to cancel the 4th of July events.”

Allen Payton contributed to this report.

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Antioch July 4th fireworks 2020 cancelled


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