Based on “the strong recommendations” from the Rock County Health Department, City of Milton and the Milton School District (owners of Schilberg Park), Milton FFA Alumni has canceled the 4th of July celebration at Schilberg Park for 2020. That includes the carnival, athletic tournaments, food and beer stands, entertainment and fireworks show.
Separately, July 4 parade coordinator Derek Henze said options are still being explored for the parade.
Milton FFA Alumni 4th of July Chairman Brian Paul in a public announcement sent to the Milton Courier on May 10 said: “Alternative ideas, dates and options were discussed at great length, but due to the continued uncertainty of this pandemic, this was the right decision to make at this time. At the end of the day, the safety of our volunteers, their families, our community and our neighbors outweighed all other options.
“We understand the disappointment some of you may have, we feel it too. Our volunteers know so many people look forward to the 4th of July Celebration at Schilberg Park. These short-term sacrifices are for the long-term safety of our community and we’ll come out of this better and stronger.”
In the event the parade also gets canceled, Henze said, “We will still do something to celebrate the day and the community.”
This year’s parade theme is “The Heart of Milton.”
When the 4th of July news was shared on the Milton Courier Facebook page on Monday, people said they were sad, disappointed, not necessarily shocked. Some understood, some were angry.
The Milton Courier asked Paul to comment on specifically on the cancellation of fireworks. He replied: “While there are still many unknowns about what people in Wisconsin will be allowed to do in a month and a half, the Milton FFA Alumni has decided the best option is to cancel the 2020 4th of July fireworks show. Even if large gatherings were to be allowed on school property by the beginning of July (which is currently very doubtful), our main concern is keeping our volunteers, friends and family safe. A gathering the size of the Milton fireworks show is the perfect avenue to possibly infect thousands of people, people from our community.
“....Between the uncertain future, and a $20,000 fireworks contract due, our decision had to be made on the current information we have. We are all very sad this event is cancelled, but we believe it is the right thing to do at this time.”