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Officials ask revelers to follow guidelines at weekend holiday events

Fourth of July is Saturday and most people in the United States will spend the long weekend celebrating the nation’s independence.

People of the Miss-Lou are no exception and will celebrate on Saturday with the annual Lake St. John Flotilla and the Fourth of July fireworks show on the Mississippi River sponsored by the Vidalia Beautification Committee.

This year’s Fourth of July celebrations will be a bit different than in previous years, however, as the nation is coping with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Fireworks show

The annual fireworks show is scheduled to take place at 9 p.m. Saturday and will be visible from both sides of the river. This year’s fireworks show, however, will not include the Fourth of July festival that has taken place on the Vidalia riverfront in recent years, organizers said due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Organizers are encouraging spectators to maintain social distance and to wear face coverings to help curtail the spread of COVID-19.

“We are encouraging people to social distance during the fireworks show and also to wear some type of face covering in the process,” Darryl Grennell, Natchez mayor told members of Natchez’s COVID-19 Task Force earlier this week. “People with illnesses, people who are highly susceptible, and people who are seniors are encouraged to stay in their vehicles to watch the show.”

The Lake St. John Flotilla

Registration for the annual Lake St. John Flotilla kicks-off at 10 a.m. and lasts until noon Saturday at Spokane Resort and the Flotilla will lasts all day Saturday on Lake St. John in Ferriday.

Participants pay a $10 registration fee to support the Lake St. John Flotilla committee, but spectating is free.

Organizers said that during the COVID-19 pandemic, it is up to the boat owners and spectators to enforce whatever rules are necessary to prevent spreading infection.

“Boats stay at least six to 10 feet apart, which they usually do anyway and it’s up to each individual boat owner to set the rules on their craft,” said Susan Harris, Flotilla chairman. “The same goes with spectators who may view the flotilla either from Spokane Resort or from a private pier on the lake. We encourage people to follow the guidelines set by the state but we are not in any position to enforce them.”