Sugar Hill's Sparks in the Park

Fireworks explode over E.E. Robinson Park during Sugar Hill’s 2014 Sparks in the Park. City officials announced this year’s event, which had originally been delayed until August, has now been canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The nation’s 244th birthday won’t be celebrated belatedly in Sugar Hill after all, city officials have announced.

It just won’t be celebrated at all this year, and residents can blame an all-too-familiar foe for the cancelation: the COVID-19 novel coronavirus.

Sugar Hill officials announced they have canceled Sparks in Park, which was originally scheduled for the July 4th weekend but then rescheduled for Aug. 1, because of the pandemic. Since the decision to delay it was made, however, Gwinnett has seen a spike in new COVID-19 cases, and city officials decided to just call the event off all together.

“We are deeply disappointed to announce the cancellation of the Sparks in the Park event,” City Manager Paul Radford. “We know that the community looks forward to this event yearly, but it is with the public health and safety of our community in mind that we make this difficult but responsible decision.”

The pandemic has caused most summer events to be canceled in Gwinnett, with some parts of the county even starting to cancel fall events as well out of concern for public health.

Sparks in the Park, which is typically held the day before the Fourth of July at E.E. Robinson Park North, typically brings out a large crowd for inflatable games, food vendors, live entertainment and fireworks. The event is estimated to draw more than 10,000 people a year.

City officials said they considered the number of COVID-19 cases in the county, as well as the size of the event and concerns about the health of residents, guests, volunteers, vendors and city staff when making the decision to cancel the event.

“We look forward to continuing this community tradition with the 2021 version of Sparks in the Park that will be an unequalled, unrivaled and fun-filled event for all ages,” Mayor Steve Edwards said. “We are counting down the days until July 3rd, 2021, when we can gather together again to celebrate our country and our freedom.”

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I'm a Crawford Long baby who grew up in Marietta and eventually wandered to the University of Southern Mississippi for college. Earned a BA in journalism (double minor in political science and history). Previously worked in Florida and Clayton County.

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