RUPERT — The Rupert 4th of July committee decided to move forward with a full 5-day celebration with some modifications for public safety — due to the COVID-19 crisis, officials said.
“I’ve already had people calling and asking for parade float applications,” said Jackie Larson, who oversees the parade on the committee, which consists of 12 community members.
The celebration is planned for June 30 to July 4 with food vendors and concerts on Rupert Square, fireworks and lawnmower races.
The committee will ask participants and spectators to spread out and the committee will continue to discuss other possible modifications for the events.
Jason Gibbons, who is chairman of the committee, said the 5K/10K and 40-mile bike race will not be held this year, due to the need to order shirts and collect money, in case the committee is required to cancel the celebration due to changing circumstances in the community.
“We will be keeping an eye on things in case there is an outbreak or the governor tightens things back down,” Gibbons said.
Gibbons said the committee discussed the celebration with city officials and with Minidoka Memorial Hospital officials, where Gibbons works, prior to making the decision to move forward.
“We got their blessings,” Gibbons said.
Larson said the committee “went up one side and down the other to make sure” they thought of everything, before making the decision.
“We want people to be comfortable,” she said. “But I think it adds a glimmer of hope for people.”
Gibbons said people will be reminded during events and concerts to put distance between themselves and other people and the committee wants to put up hand-sanitizer stations in the park.
“It’s a big park, people can spread out and we’ll be encouraging people to be mindful,” he said.
If people are still wearing face coverings or masks, they should wear them to the events.
“And if someone is not comfortable coming, we ask them to please stay home,” Gibbons said.
Gibbons said the committee will also be reaching out to the public health department for recommendations.
The committee plans to meet twice more before the celebration to reevaluate the situation, he said.
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