City of Riverside Cancels July 4th Fireworks, Pursues Other Options

Published: 05/20/20



May 20, 2020



Phil Pitchford

Public Information Officer





City of Riverside Cancels July 4th Fireworks, Pursues Other Options

Possibilities include a virtual celebration online and a public event on Victoria Avenue

RIVERSIDE, Calif. – The City of Riverside will not host a July 4th fireworks display this year at either Mt. Rubidoux or La Sierra parks because of a need to reduce costs to balance the city budget and also to avoid large crowds during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The City instead will examine possible alternatives, including a virtual celebration that could be held online; or a public event on Victoria Avenue, which would be closed to traffic between Jefferson Street and Arlington Avenue, and other potential locations.

The City Council voted 6-1 on Tuesday, with Councilmember Chuck Conder voting no.

“This celebration is held dear by many Riverside families, so this is a very difficult decision for everyone,” Mayor Pro Tem Erin Edwards said. “I am hopeful that we can move forward with an event that allows Riversiders to gather safely to celebrate our nation’s birth.”

The city’s Parks, Recreation and Community Services Department has hosted fireworks shows at Mt. Rubidoux and La Sierra Park since 1996, with support from the Police and Fire departments. The shows attracted more than 100,000 families each year.

This year’s show would have cost $123,800. But the city already needed to reduce spending to balance its upcoming budget and is expected to see revenues drop by $12 million in April-June of this fiscal year because of the economic impact caused by the state’s stay-at-home order.

To combat the COVID-19 pandemic, residents have been encouraged to observe six feet of social distancing, which could be difficult during such a popular event. Even when the stay-at-home order is lifted, there is still a possibility that large gatherings may still be prohibited.

For the latest information and resources regarding COVID-19 -- www.RiversideCA.gov/COVID-19