Last year, Independence Day was a bit of a fizzle, coming as it did in the middle of the pandemic. This year, some of the sparkle is returning to celebrations around the Twin Cities.
Emphasis on some.
Dogged by lack of time, money and volunteers plus a fireworks shortage and lingering concerns about the coronavirus, a few of the biggest displays have been canceled. Other cities and towns are downsizing or scrapping the traditional trappings of July 4th celebrations — parades and carnivals — so the fireworks shows can go on.
St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter declined to sponsor fireworks for the capital city due to safety and budgetary concerns. However, the Saints will sponsor pyrotechnic shows after their July 3 and 4 games at CHS Field.
Minneapolis has nixed its popular Red, White and Boom fireworks display. There just wasn't enough time to pull off the event, which draws as many at 75,000 to the banks of the Mississippi River, said Tom Godfrey, events manager for the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board.
"We start [planning] usually around the first of the year, and restrictions on events didn't change until mid-May," he said.
Instead of a single large event, the city is holding several neighborhood festivals that "will have that small-town feel," said Godfrey. Nokomis, Armatage, Webber, Stewart and Beltrami parks will feature family activities like balloon artists and DJs. (Programming will vary at each park. For more information, go to minneapolisparks.org.)
Richfield and Roseville passed on 4th festivities entirely. And a shortage of fireworks caused shows in Edina and Stillwater to be canceled. (Edina will carry on with its annual parade on July 3. In lieu of fireworks, Stillwater will host live music in Lowell Park on July 4.)
That said, there will still be lots of lights in the sky on the July 4th weekend.
In Maplewood, sparks will fly over Hazelwood Park, but there will be no food trucks, bands or other festivities. (Grills, alcohol and open fires will not be allowed in the park.)
Eagan Funfest will still feature fireworks, but the event has been scaled back, in part because of lack of funds and volunteers.
"It's 100 grand to pull off the event, and the money just was not there this year," said Funfest chair Jordan Schuetzle.
He said the "repositioned" event will highlight the community, with a bike parade, coronation and a scavenger hunt that showcases the city's parks and recreation areas, but no parade or carnival.
"Fireworks are historically 4th of July and folks flock to us because we have spent quite a bit to put on a good show," said Schuetzle.
However, he encourages visitors not to try to crowd into the city's Central Park to see the spectacle. "Some say you can see or hear our fireworks from Apple Valley and St. Paul," he said. "We welcome surrounding communities to come see what Eagan has to offer."
Here's a roundup of some local fireworks displays:
For more information or for updates, check individual websites.
SATURDAY, JULY 3
BLOOMINGTON: Summer Fete with live music, food vendors and fireworks at dusk. 8 p.m. Normandale Lake Park, W. 84th Street and Chalet Road. bloomingtonmn.gov.
HUDSON, WIS.: Booster Days carnival, beer garden, food stands and entertainment. Noon, with fireworks at dusk. Lakefront Park, 1st and Walnut streets. hudsonboosters.org.
ST. PAUL: 10 p.m. CHS Field, 360 N. Broadway, following the Saints game. milb.com/st-paul/tickets/promotions
RED WING: Island block party starts at 5 p.m. with food trucks and fireworks at dusk. Treasure Island Casino, 5734 Sturgeon Lake Road. ticasino.com.
SUNDAY, JULY 4
APPLE VALLEY: Parade at 1 p.m.; pre-fireworks party at 6 p.m. Fireworks at 10 p.m. Johnny Cake Ridge Park, 5800 W. 140th St. avfreedomdays.com.
BLAINE: Fireworks at 10 p.m. National Sports Center, 1700 NE. 105th Av. blainemn.gov.
CHANHASSEN: Classic car show, Taste of Chanhassen, fishing contest and family activities. 7 a.m., with fireworks at 10 p.m. Lake Ann Park, 1456 W. 78th St. ci.chanhassen.mn.us.
COON RAPIDS: Carnival, midway and food trucks. 11 a.m., fireworks at 10 p.m. Boulevard Plaza, 11000 Crooked Lake Blvd. NW. coonrapidscommunitystrengthfoundation.com.
DELANO: 5K run, parade, carnival, music. Fireworks at 10:30 p.m. Grab a spot on the dike near Central Park for viewing. delano4th.com.
EAGAN: Fireworks at 10 p.m. Central Park, 1501 Central Pkwy. eaganfunfest.org.
EDEN PRAIRIE: Food vendors and music. 5 p.m., fireworks at 10 p.m. Round Lake Park, 7550 Constitution Av. edenprairie.org
EXCELSIOR: Firecracker run, kids' parade and Popsicle social. 7:30 a.m., fireworks at dusk. Various locations. excelsior-lakeminnetonkachamber.com
FOREST LAKE: Music starts at 5:30 p.m., fireworks at 10 p.m. Lakeside Memorial Park, 95 E. Broadway. ci.forest-lake.mn.us.
LAKEVILLE: Fireworks at dusk over King Park, 18350 Dodd Blvd. There will be no on-site viewing or parking available at King Park. panoprog.org.
MAPLEWOOD: Fireworks at 10 p.m. Hazelwood Park, 1663 County Road C. maplewoodmn.gov.
PRIOR LAKE: Fireworks at 10:15 p.m. over Prior Lake. priorlakeassociation.org.
ST. LOUIS PARK: Food trucks and vendors at 7 p.m. Fireworks at 10 p.m. Aquila Park, 3100 Xylon Av. S. stlouispark.org
ST. PAUL: 10 p.m. CHS Field, 360 N. Broadway, following the Saints game. milb.com/st-paul.
WACONIA: 10 p.m. Lake Waconia Regional Park, 8170 Paradise Lane. destinationwaconia.org.
WHITE BEAR LAKE: Manitou Days with live music at 8 p.m. and fireworks at 10 p.m. over White Bear Lake. manitoudays.com.
WOODBURY: Food trucks open at 7 p.m., fireworks at 10 p.m. HealthEast Sports Center, 4125 Radio Drive. woodburymn.gov.