Baraboo hosts fireworks show amid COVID-19 pandemic

The city cancelled other Fourth of July celebrations and made changes to the fireworks.
Published: Jul. 5, 2020 at 12:46 AM CDT
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BARABOO, Wis. (WMTV) - Towns across the state have cancelled Fourth of July celebrations because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but some cities like Baraboo just decided to celebrate the holiday differently, making changes to their annual fireworks show.

People in Baraboo spent all afternoon celebrating the red, white and blue.

“This is our second annual Fourth of July party, we invite family, friends, neighbors,” said Eric Jahn, a Baraboo resident.

However, the city’s festivities have changed. Several public events were cancelled.

“When fireworks were going to happen, we went over to this big, giant piece of property,” Jahn said, describing last year’s celebrations.

Usually, people gather at the Sauk County Fairgrounds for music and food and to watch the city’s fireworks show.

“A lot of people would be parking on the corners here and trying to get a view,” said Charles Schick, who lives across from the fairgrounds.

However, the fairgrounds are completely closed to the public this year.

“You could normally walk down and get some concessions at the fairgrounds or whoever’s doing it. That’s always kind of a traditional thing people do,” Schick explained.

Baraboo still had a fireworks show, but they changed the view so more people across the city could catch a glimpse.

“They’re going to shoot the fireworks higher this year, so actually any place in Baraboo, you’re going to be able to see the fireworks,” Jahn said.

Officials said they hope with fireworks going off up to 400 feet in the air, people could avoid gathering to watch.

“Baraboo’s a big city and there’s going to be plenty of places to watch these fireworks from, it shouldn’t be that hard to socially distance,” said Mark Willer, assistant fire chief at the Baraboo Fire Department.

Crews set up the fireworks in a field behind the Baraboo Meat Market, where they have launched fireworks for a few years since Festival Foods started sponsoring the event. Every 15 minutes starting at 8 p.m., test fireworks were fired to give people time to find a good spot.

The fireworks started at 9:45 p.m. and lasted almost 30 minutes.

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