Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Independence Day activities in Jackson will be scaled back this year.
SoutheastHEALTH HealthPoint Fitness will still have its 5k run/walk, but it will be a virtual walk this year. Don’t expect to hear the pitter patter of feet down the street at 7:04 a.m. (a start time chosen to mark the seventh month and fourth day) as in years past. Instead, runners will run at various times and submit their times online. (More race details are at the end of this article.)
The thud-thud-thud of helicopter rotors beating against hot, humid July air also will not be heard this year. Both the helicopter rides and the golf-ball drop (from a helicopter) have been canceled.
The major fundraiser for the July 4 celebration, the day-long mud volleyball tournament, will not take place.
The park will start humming with activity about 9 a.m. as the car show/cruise-in begins along Sycamore Lane inside City Park. (Free public parking for July 4 activities is offered in the grass field off Union Street near Shelter No. 3).
The car show will not be a competition as it was in past years. This year, antique and classic cars may come and go as they please between the hours of 9 a.m. and 1 p.m.
They will park in the grass along Sycamore Lane (as they did in past years). This year, Sycamore Lane will be marked with a center stripe. Pedestrians will be asked to stay on their side as they walk up or down the street and to keep socially distant from unrelated groups as they admire the vintage vehicles.
Most of the food vendors have canceled this year, but one vendor has expressed interest. It will most likely be located near the car show/cruise-in.
Other activities that usually fill the day have been canceled until 7 p.m. At that time, special guest Shades of Soul will kick off the Muny Band concert at the band shell. The Muny Band will perform until 9 p.m.
A full fireworks show, beginning at 9:30 p.m., will conclude the celebration.
Although many of the regular events were canceled this year because they would be difficult to hold and abide by the recommendations of the CDC and Cape County Health Department, the City felt a need to offer some activities to mark the 244th birthday of our nation. “We wanted to have some type of celebration,” said Shane Anderson, director of Parks and Recreation.
Because the Independence Day 5k is a virtual race this year, participants may run/walk the course any time July 3-7. They should pick up their preregistration packets July 2-3 at HealthPoint Fitness during business hours.
Registration is available online until July 1 at SEhealth.org/July4race, or call 573-755-2301.
Finisher dog tags will be awarded to all participants. Those who wish to compete for a medal must run or walk the official course and enter their time at SEhealth.org/July4race.