A socially distant 4th of July: Here’s how people celebrated

Austin

AUSTIN (KXAN) — The COVID-19 pandemic has wiped out or significantly modified all kinds of social gatherings and festivals.

The Dell Diamond in Round Rock is one of the only fireworks show that didn’t get canceled, which also featured a concert by Granger Smith. Several hundred people traveled from all over to celebrate their socially distant 4th of July at the Dell Diamond.

​”We’re down from Wisconsin, just for the concert. It was about the only thing happening,” said Joe Switalski.

The Dell Diamond only allowed 2,000 people inside the facility, that’s about 14% of its capacity. ​ The rest of the show attendees has to stay in the parking lot inside their cars.

​”I live in Austin, she lives in the Temple area,” said ​​Abigail Bryant. “Just being able to have something to be excited for has made a difference, than just waking up and sitting around your house.”

Abigail Bryant and her friend Kayla Sexton sat and watched the fireworks from their truck bed. Kayla says this was her first sense of normalcy as a front-line worker at Baylor Scott and White.

“I hear the word coronavirus at least 700 times a day, its overwhelming,” said Sexton. “I’m a veteran too. I love that we have a sense of normalcy. It’s awesome, it almost brings tears to my eyes.”

The 4th of July celebrations didn’t begin at the fireworks show Saturday.

“It’s kind of social distant by default. You can be six feet apart from people as long as you’re in the water,” said a Lady Bird Lake Go-er.

Several people spent their 4th of July socially distant on their paddle boards and kayaks on Lady Bird Lake.

“You know it’s a summer holiday. Everyone wants to be outside and celebrate. We are trying to do it in a way that’s responsible,” said Natalie, who spend her day on the lake.

The holiday comes a day after Gov. Greg Abbott banned gatherings of 10 or more people and required people to wear masks in public. Despite those measures, Austin Mayor Steve Adler urged the community to be responsible so we don’t see a spike in cases.

“We’re gonna be inundating our intensive care units within the next 10 days to two weeks. We still have an opportunity to be able to impact that,” said Adler. “It’s a trailing indicator so it’s really the behaviors last week that will play out next week. Behaviors this week play out in two weeks​.”

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