Gilroy celebrates 4th of July with fireworks show and social distancing

GILROY, Calif. (KGO) -- With almost every Fourth of July celebration canceled in the Bay Area, Gilroy is the only show in town.

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Many in the crowd at Gilroy High School where the fireworks were launched, observed social distancing and wore masks. Some didn't even leave their vehicles.

"We are not planning to go there, we are just planning to stay here in the car," said Miracle Daglet who came with her husband and kids.

"We are trying to stay away from everyone, wearing masks when we are anywhere close to people, I think that'll be ok," said one fireworks watcher, Taylor.

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The City of Gilroy decided to go ahead with their fireworks show to boost morale. It's been a tough year for the city, in addition to dealing with COVID-19 closures and cancelations, it's also still healing from the shooting at the Gilroy Garlic Festival last year that killed 3 people and injured dozens. No festival this summer either.

"I think it's a great idea, I think Morgan Hill should've had theirs too," said Dan Kenney, one of many in the crowd who traveled to Gilroy to watch the show.

"We couldn't get fireworks in our town and this is not as busy as Santa Cruz," said Estella who travelled from Livermore.

The fireworks is literally the only show in town, with the parade canceled and the pandemic turning Gilroy's downtown into a ghost town.

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Still, at one fireworks stand, optimism. They're raising funds for a local school and fireworks sold out fast.

"We have a lot of new residents here in Gilroy that are coming to get their fireworks," said Olivia Mitchell who says many in the community still want to give their kids memories while in quarantine.

This year's fireworks are higher than last year to give people the chance to spread out so that homes within two and a half miles could see it.

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"We are Gilroy strong, we are making a comeback. Gilroyans we stand together, we support each other and I think with everything that's happened, we've become a stronger community and we are here to stay," said Mitchell.
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