RIO GRANDE, Ohio — The COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact local festivals and public events, with the latest being the cancellation of “Rockets over Rio.”
The announcement was made by Rio Grande Mayor Matt Easter on Friday.
“It is with a heavy heart this morning that I must announce the state health department has given a no go to the 2020 Rockets over Rio fireworks show….” Easter wrote in a Facebook post. “Safety has always been our number one concern, and their (health officials) decision goes right along with our philosophy of providing people a safe, fun time in Rio Grande. That being said, any of our donors who have sent in their money, we will offer a full refund, or we will happily carry it until the 2021 Rockets over Rio fireworks show. This will pass, and I promise to make the 2021 show that much bigger.”
Easter told the Gallipolis Daily Tribune, this would’ve been the 14th year for the popular fireworks display, with the past 11 years being funded solely on donations. Fundraising starts months in advance and Easter said COVID-19 has severely impacted that process.
Nearly $11,000 was spent last year on the display which attracts a large crowd, many of whom visit the popular Bob Evans Farm Festival, also held the same weekend in October. It was announced the farm festival was canceled earlier this summer.
“If this keeps people safe, we’ll wait one more year,” Easter said. “It gives us time to work harder to make next year’s show better.”
Easter thanked the show’s sponsors and the University of Rio Grande, which hosts the location of the event, for their support.
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