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City of Naples cancels annual July 4 fireworks display, parade

You won’t see big fireworks in downtown Naples on Fourth of July. The big show is just another event canceled because of the pandemic.

Naples City Council says it has not discussed other options yet after voting to cancel the city’s fireworks display.

We went out Thursday and gathered reactions from businesses that were banking on the thousands of people who would normally go to the show.

Naples Pier will likely be much quieter during Independence Day this summer, since the City of Naples decided no parade or fireworks will take place.

Residents and businesses we spoke to said they are disappointed.

“It’s an American tradition, you know?” said Milos Ljibenovic, the owner of Mediterrano. “That’s what people look forward to that for a whole year; my daughter is; we all are.”

Mediterrano is located right across the street from the Naples Pier. Ljibenovic says his family looks forward to not only the fireworks but the business it brings.

“I definitely don’t agree with the whole situation and definitely will affect my business,” Ljibenovic said.

Ljibenovic says he wishes it could be different but knows the City of Naples is trying to take the safe route.

“I not an easy decision,” Ljibenovic said. “I don’t think they are doing it to intentionally hurt us, but it would be better to have it.”

Naples residents were also upset to hear the news.

“It’s really too bad that this pandemic has done that,” Stephen Foley said. “I have great memories of being on beaches and having a great time with my family on the Fourth of July.”

“It would be nice to celebrate our nations birthday and be back with our families on the beach and have a good time, Janine Kannensohn said.

Naples is not the only city with these precautions in place for the July 4.

Cape Coral’s “Red, White and Boom” was postponed, and Fort Myers’ fireworks show was canceled as well. Now Fort Myers is having a flyover to celebrate instead.

Ljibenovic still hopes people will still come out to support businesses.

“They are still gonna celebrate, not on the pier, but at the restaurants, I’m hoping,” Ljibenovic said.

Reporter:Taylor Smith
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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