Whitehall leaders announced Friday, May 8, the city will not hold a parade or fireworks show July 4 because of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

The cancellations are in line with recommendations from the Central Ohio Mayors and Managers Association and the Franklin County Township Association, said Megan Meyer, community-affairs manager for Whitehall. The organizations recommended their member agencies postpone large-scale parades, festivals and fireworks.

“As difficult as this decision is, the health and safety of our communities comes first,” Mayor Kim Maggard said. “This is the right thing to do at a time when there is so much uncertainty.”

Although the parade, which is organized by the Whitehall Community Celebration Association, was almost two months away, “we don’t foresee the state’s social-distancing requirements being reduced significantly by early July to allow for the type of large gatherings that occur during Independence Day celebrations,” Maggard said.

City leaders are considering alternate plans.

“Recognizing that the Fourth of July is one of the most meaningful celebrations the Whitehall community and our nation partake in each year, safe alternatives to celebrate are currently under consideration,” Maggard said.

Residents are invited to weigh in by sending emails to communityaffairs@whitehall-oh.us, Meyer said.