Washington Evening Journal
111 North Marion Avenue
Washington, IA 52353
MT. PLEASANT - Every Fourth of July for the past 20 years, the Thompson family has traveled from Olds to Mt. Pleasant to watch the city's annual Fireworks Show.
This year was no different, even in light of the coronavirus pandemic.
'It didn't really make a difference for us. We were coming anyway,” Jim Thompson said.
Jim, alongside his wife, daughter and mother, sat in McMillan Park on Saturday evening, lawn chairs set up by their car and nicely distanced from other people.
'We don't have a problem coming down, pandemic or not,” Thompson added.
The park was teeming with excited families on Saturday evening for the town's annual show. Attendees were encouraged to practice social distancing and CDC-recommended sanitary practices during the event, which was organized by the Mt. Pleasant Fire Department.
Like the Thompsons, Mt. Pleasant resident Kim Franzen said she and her family had no hesitation about attending.
'We figured with everything going on, there would be less people, and it's at the park, with enough open space. We decided it would be safe,” she said.
Krystal Perez, who attended the show with her family, said it was nice to get out after several long months spent indoors, but she, like many others, was taking precautions.
'We're trying to just stay close to our family and not really around others. But it was still nice to get out. The kids were looking forward to it,” Perez said.
Her 3-year-old son, Isaac, excitedly ran around with a sparkler in hand.
'He's really excited for the fireworks. It's nice because so many other events got canceled. We're glad this one wasn't,” she said.
Ten-year-old Ireland Kelly and 12-year-old Adah Beckman, who traveled from Mediapolis, said they were similarly excited about seeing the fireworks show.
'The one in Mediapolis was canceled, so my family decided to come to this one,” Beckman said.
Jerry Naylor, who sat outside of the Presbyterian Church adjacent to the park to see the fireworks show, had a mask on as a safety measure but felt he was mostly safe considering the nature of the event.
'I've been doing this for two months. I figured I'm more likely to catch [the coronavirus] at Walmart than I am here,” he said. Like many in attendance, Naylor has attended the show nearly every year as a Mt. Pleasant resident. As a fireworks show enthusiast, he tries to get in at least one event a year.
'I just have to see them at least once. And we have Fourth of July here so I figured I'd come out. I really enjoy them,” he said.