One of the biggest Fourth of July celebrations in the country is postponed due to COVID-19, and organizers of the event said this could impact many in the community.
Officials with LibertyFest said COVID-19 health concerns are a main reason why they will not hold the event this year.
Terry Officer is the president of LibertyFest and he said after three months of discussion, they think this is the best decision moving forward.
“So talking with the chair people, it was decided that we couldn’t do the proper planning and whatever to put on LibertyFest that were used to putting on,” said Officer.
Every year, a group of non-paid volunteers start planning LibertyFest in February for the actual event which starts in June and goes through July 4.
Event leaders said hundreds of volunteers are needed to pull off the 10 events and many are senior citizens in the high-risk category.
“The health and safety of our members and participants and the community, there’s just a lot of ‘what if’s’ that we don’t have answers for,” said Officer.
The festival usually has more than 50,000 people watching the parade, making it difficult for those attending to social distance themselves, which is the biggest concern.
Despite this year’s cancellation, officials said they will be back next year.
“We will bring it back better and stronger next year for 2021,” said Officer. “That’s our plans right now is to come back and do it bigger and better than we would have been able to this year.”
Officials said the cancellation will impact the community in different ways, including canceling the "Taste of Edmond" fundraiser.
“LibertyFest has a large impact on the community, both financially, as well as just people coming in from outside of town,” said Officer.