For the first time in three years, the city of Arnold plans to light up the sky above Arnold City Park with fireworks in celebration of the Fourth of July holiday.
The city plans to hold an Independence Day celebration from 5-11 p.m. Saturday, June 26, at the park on Bradley Beach Road off Jeffco Boulevard near the Meramec River.
“At this point it is somewhat aspirational,” City Administrator Bryan Richison said. “We are proceeding as if it is going to happen.”
Arnold canceled its 2019 event because floodwaters from the Meramec River remained in the park too long to allow the city time to prepare the grounds for the event.
Last year, the event was canceled because of concerns about the spread of COVID-19.
Richison said the city will continue to monitor the spread of the virus to make sure it is safe to hold an event in the park this summer.
The Jefferson County Health Department had been reporting fewer new coronavirus cases in the county, but on March 24 the agency announced that cases had begun to climb again, which resulted in the county again being placed in the orange status on the COVID-19 warning system, the second highest level on the four-color system.
The county was in the yellow status, the second lowest level on the four-color system, for a week prior to moving up to orange, according to the Health Department.
“If we get closer and for some reason we don’t feel it is a good idea because something unexpected has happened with COVID, we could pull the plug,” Richison said. “I think the trajectory we are heading now and with the vaccines, we feel more comfortable that it will be safe to hold it.”
In addition to fireworks, plans for the celebration include performances from the band Wildfire, as well as other activities.
No admission would be charged, but concessions would be sold.
“I think it will be nice for us to hold the event,” Richison said. “We did not enjoy having to cancel everything constantly for the last year.”
A new feature being planned for the Fourth of July event are VIP tent rentals. A limited number of the tents may be rented. The Parks and Recreation Department said in a Facebook post that details about how to rent a tent would be available soon.
Richison said the city also hopes to be able to hold Arnold Days this year, which typically is scheduled for the third weekend of September. It was canceled last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“If we are not able to (hold Arnold Days), it means something has really gone wrong with COVID,” Richison said. “I feel even more confident about Arnold Days than I do about the Fourth of July, and I feel pretty good about the Fourth of July. At this point, we fully intend to (hold Arnold Days).”