POWAY, Calif. – In a year when most fireworks shows were canceled in San Diego County for fear of the pandemic, Poway celebrated Saturday with a pair of displays which illuminated the summer sky much to the delight of local residents.
About half of the city was able to see fireworks from the comfort of their front lawn, Poway Mayor Steve Vaus said. The city also opened its parks to give residents another viewpoint of the shows.
This year’s displays took off from two different locations: Poway High School and at the Sportsplex in the Poway Business Park. Both were set off simultaneously.
Most years, Poway’s football stadium would be packed with thousands of residents for the celebration, but the COVID-19 pandemic forced officials to call an audible. This time, the city asked those in attendance to wear face coverings and follow social distancing guidelines.
But the city still took things up a notch with larger fireworks that traveled nearly 400 feet in the air.
One family took in the festivities after making the drive from Valley Center. They had been camping out since about 2:30 p.m. Saturday to be sure they’d have a prime spot to watch the show.
Asked what she was most excited for on the Fourth of July, 9-year-old Grace Neely said, “Fireworks and hot dogs.”
Her father, Sean Neely, noted the differences of this year’s celebration from ones of the past.
“It’s very different, I don’t often wear a mask when tailgating for Fourth of July fireworks so it’s very unusual,” he said, “and we were actually a little trepidacious about coming out so I kind of set up a camp and cornered off a little area so we don’t have to worry about it.”
“We have coverings, we have defense from the sun, we have a two-burner cooker,” said Don Clay, Grace Neely’s grandfather. “You won’t believe what’s back here. We are equipped. I mean we’ve come 25 miles but we’re prepared to go to Baja.”