The Village announced on June 8 that the annual July 4th fireworks would be canceled. (The Sousa concert gathering had already been canceled by Destination Kohler).
A release by Kohler Police Chief and Village of Kohler, Emergency Management Director Shawn Splivalo expressed disappointment in having to cancel the fireworks. But with other area municipalities canceling theirs, Village officials feared that allowing Kohler’s fireworks to proceed would draw a much larger crowd than the Village would be able to handle, as well as increase the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
“It is with great disappointment that the Village of Kohler is confirming the cancellation of the 4th of July celebration,” said Splivalo’s release. “The issues of thousands of visitors coming to the Village to see the fireworks and the public health risk of COVID-19 essentially made the decision for us.
“The decision to cancel the Village of Kohler’s fireworks was made after the City of Sheboygan canceled their fireworks display. Without events in our surrounding communities, the Village of Kohler could potently host thousands of visitors without the green space, parking, or facilities to support them.
“We hope to be in the third phase of the Sheboygan County Restart Guidelines by July 4th, but it will still be a recommendation that outdoor gatherings maintain 6 feet of social distancing (36 square feet per person). As Village Members know, we do not traditionally have that distance between families with a normal size crowd. This presents a public health risk without large green spaces for everyone to social distance. Parking, traffic, and bathrooms also become a concern with the potently large crowds. As we see with every event we host in the Village, parking is limited.
“Traffic is not only frustrating to Village residents and visitors, it also impedes emergency vehicles. We’re also inviting problems with public urination when we have people visiting or stuck in traffic after consuming beverages on a summer night without access to bathroom facilities.
“We hope that all our community members will still celebrate Independence Day by displaying our nation’s flag, and gathering as recommended by guidelines with friends, family, and neighbors.