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Crowds line the streets in Independence during the Fourth of July parade in 2019.


INDEPENDENCE — Summer will look different in Independence this year.

“One of the issues we’ve been looking at, and waiting as long as we can, is to figure out what we’re going to be doing with some of the summer events,” said Tom Pessemier, city manager, at the April 28 council meeting. “Right now, we’re at that point where a lot of decisions — financial and marketing and everything else — would need to be made for the summer concert series.”

He said city staff decided to cancel the formal summer concert series, but they may be able to have some concerts in the park.

“We’re looking to potentially do some things that might be more local and fast and flexible and easy to put on,” Pessemier said. “We certainly have a lot of the equipment and the knowledge how to do that.”

He said the Independence Days committee is “figuring out what they can do, dealing with different scenarios depending on how many people can gather.”

“Obviously that’s going to look radically different,” Pessemier said. “We’re not looking at fireworks for the Fourth of July but they’re being creative and they’re working with some of my staff to figure out how to do some creative things.”

On Sunday night, a post on the Independence Days’ Facebook page said the commission “knew the right choice is to forego our usual celebration.”

“We are not canceling the event, but rather changing it up this year to allow for the appropriate social distancing as our priority is everyone’s safety,” the post states.

No details were posted, and a response to an email sent Monday night was received by press time, but according to the post, there will not be fireworks.

“We’re also going to talk about potentially just moving the date,” Pessemier said. “I think when this is all over,  I think Independence wants to have a big party and whether that’s July 4, Aug. 4, Sept. 4 or sometime next year, I think we’re all excited and we know there’d be a ton of volunteers to help put something together in a rather rapid order, so we’re trying to make sure that we’re making smart decisions now so we can set that up in the future.”

Pessemier said he is excited the Independence Days commission is engaged and interested in doing a “Covid-19 Independence Day that still respects the governor’s orders but is fun and entertaining for the community.”

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