July 4 weekend fireworks returning to Smithfield
Published 6:29 pm Tuesday, March 9, 2021
Excitement and fun will return to the sky in Smithfield this upcoming Independence Day.
Smithfield plans to move forward with a fireworks show at Clontz Memorial Park at 9 p.m. on July 2, town manager Michael Stallings confirmed in a March 3 email to The Smithfield Times.
The choice of July 2, a Friday, versus the town’s usual date of July 3 is due to the availability of the fireworks company, Stallings said. If the town didn’t choose July 2, the fireworks company might have gotten booked elsewhere. Town Council in February unanimously authorized Stallings to move forward with securing a contract.
Councilmember Randy Pack said in February that having an early July 4 event is often an advantage because people come into town to enjoy Smithfield’s show but also the next day go elsewhere in Hampton Roads, where nearly all of the surrounding communities have large scale events.
Pack said that typically gives Smithfield the best of both worlds — an influx of visitors who shop and dine in local stores and visit local attractions, but a relatively calm town on the actual holiday, which falls on a Sunday this year.
The COVID-19 pandemic led to changes and cancellations of numerous fun and local community events in 2020. “We hope to move [the show] back to July 3 in the future, but it will depend on availability of the fireworks company,” Stallings said.
Isle of Wight County’s Department of Parks and Recreation typically produces two July 4 fireworks shows — one in Smithfield and one in Windsor. But last year, due to the pandemic, the county hosted one drive-in fireworks show at Heritage Park Fairgrounds.
Don Robertson, Isle of Wight’s assistant county administrator, said plans are in the works for a fireworks display.
“Currently, the county is planning an event on July 4 at Heritage Park similar to last year,” said Robertson, who added that all of the event details have not yet been determined and that “some of those decisions will be influenced by potential COVID-19-related restrictions.”