SOUTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. — The annual Fourth of July celebration that takes place at Old Mountain Field in South Kingstown has been canceled this year, another victim of state COVID-19 precautions that limit crown sizes to prevent the spread of the virus.
The town made the announcement June 5, and said the originally planned celebration, with a live concert by Take it to the Bridge and the popular fireworks display, has been tentatively rescheduled to Oct. 10, provided that large group gatherings are allowed at that time.
“We know that this event is the highlight of the summer for so many of our residents, residents from neighboring communities, and vacationers from around the state and the country,” the town said in a news release. “Unfortunately, because of the continuing public health threat presented by COVID-19, the community is not able to gather together to celebrate as we usually do at Old Mountain Field – and all the other favorite viewing spots across town, to enjoy each other’s company, live music, great food, and spectacular fireworks that have always made this event so special.”
While the grand celebration of Independence Day has been called off this year, the town will hold a flag raising ceremony at Old Mountain Field on the morning of July 4. The town said it would release more details on the ceremony in the coming weeks, including how community members can attend remotely.
In a bit of better news, the South Kingstown Parks and Recreation Department announced June 4 that several of its facilities have reopened.
These include parking lots and restrooms at all town parks, all tennis courts and the Old Mountain Field skate park and dog park.
Also, the restriction on only allowing singles play at the tennis courts was removed.
Athletic fields are open and available for reservations and field use permits for groups of 15 or less. Organizations must provide a safety plan that addresses COVID-19 precautions in order to receive a permit.
Members of the public must still follow the state’s rules that limit public gathering to 15 or fewer people, as well as observe social distancing.
The South Kingstown Town Beach is open on weekends until June 15, when it will open full time for the 2020 summer season, with reduced capacity and restrictions.
The town also has published its Parks and Recreation summer camp guide for 2020,which is available online on the town’s website. It is accepting online registration for the camps as well. All camps will follow state guidelines related to COVID-19.
The Neighborhood Guild and the Community Recreation Center, as well as all town playgrounds and basketball courts remain closed. Town employees acting as park monitors will observe activity at the parks and recreation facilities.
“We recognize the importance of getting outside, getting fresh air, and getting exercise, however we need the public to follow appropriate social distancing, gathering limits, and facility usage restrictions still in place,” the town said.