Brainerd Community Action announced Friday, May 22, the annual Fourth of July parade and entertainment are canceled for this summer — but the fireworks will go on.

“Brainerd has often been referred to as Minnesota’s 4th of July capital and although it may be slightly different than our traditional celebration, we are committed to provide a firework display rivaling those of our past,” a news release stated.

In an effort to support local artists, the annual Arts in the Park event, which usually coincides with Fourth of July, was postponed rather than canceled, according to the release. Further details will be available in the coming weeks outlining the date and other necessary measures to ensure a safe and fun-filled community-centric event.

“This year is all about picking ourselves back up, dusting off, and finding ways of making the best with what we are allowed to do, rather than focus on what we cannot,” stated Community Action Executive Director Dave Badeaux in the release. Badeaux is also the mayor of Brainerd.

Brainerd Community Action’s board took preemptive measures and began meeting weekly at the onset of COVID-19.

“Members addressed countless alternative options for the two major events, with due diligence and the utmost care, focusing on the overall community safety before making the imperative decisions,” the release stated. “At the end of the day, the reality of hosting an event simply proves too uncertain and led us to the difficult decision of changing tradition. We understand this is not ideal, but our hope was to continue a small portion of our tradition, if not in its entirety.”

Badeaux said it pained the board to make such a tough decision.

“Ultimately we have to do what is in the best interest for all those involved, especially our community members, family and friends,” he stated. “Right now, that means looking at things from fresh perspectives and finding new ways to celebrate the birth of our great nation.”