The Salute to Freedom event on July 4, 2020, hosted by Destination Panama City and the City of Panama City, will feature three fireworks displays to encourage social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The City signed a three-year contract with Destination Panama City in early 2020 to facilitate the City’s annual signature events, Salute to Freedom and Oktoberfest. Planning was well underway for the Salute to Freedom festival on July 4, 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic began.
“This is a year unlike any other," Jennifer Vigil, President of Destination Panama City, said.
"With communities across the nation having to make difficult decisions about closures and cancellations, we’re thankful to have Governor DeSantis leading our state and fully support his plans for a phased reopening," said Vigil. "After Hurricane Michael, we know we are a resilient city – so we’re just adjusting our sails for the Salute to Freedom event.”
Originally planned as a full day of activities, including a festival, parade, and fireworks at the Downtown Panama City Marina, the Salute to Freedom would have attracted thousands. Phase Two of the Governor’s Reopening Plan only allows for gatherings up to 50 people. With safety being paramount, Destination Panama City and the City of Panama City agreed that adjustments were necessary.
While the revised plan cancels the parade and festival area, it brings the celebration to the people by expanding the firework displays. Instead of the one traditional fireworks display at the Panama City Marina, there will be three fireworks displays.
The locations are:
- Millville – launched from the Watson Bayou at 9:00 p.m.
- SweetBay – launched from the old airport runway at 9:15 p.m.
- Downtown Panama City – launched from the Panama City Marina at 9:30 p.m.
There will be no official viewing areas, and event organizers request the public not attempt viewing within the 500 foot safety fall out radius at each launch location. The amended plan encourages small gatherings and backyard barbecues with your families and neighbors, practicing social distancing, and relaxing. For more information on upcoming events, like Oktoberfest on September 25 - 26, 2020, please visit DestinationPanamaCity.com.