Lancaster plans to defy county order and hold fireworks show, mayor says

The mayor of Lancaster is taking an independent stand for the Fourth of July and plans to hold a fireworks display.
LANCASTER, Calif. (KABC) -- The mayor of Lancaster is taking an independent stand for the Fourth of July and staging a fireworks display despite a countywide ban on all large public gatherings and fireworks displays.

"This is America. This is our birthday, and it is the worst year that we have ever experienced. We have had more things smack us in the nose than we could ever imagine," says Mayor Rex Parris, who believes it is time to show pride as a nation.

He says that he will only cancel the show if there is scientific proof that his plan is not safe.

"The only thing that will stop it is handcuffs," says Parris.

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Lancaster's show is traditionally staged at the Antelope Valley Fairgrounds, but state officials have retracted its permit to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

Parris is working on alternatives. He is seeking a protest permit from the health department which would categorize the gathering as a demonstration. Another option is to stage two shows in east and west Lancaster at city-owned property.

The mayor says a public display will divert people from clustering in their neighborhoods and setting off illegal fireworks.

He stresses that the city would enforces strict rules at the fireworks show. Families would stick together. Face coverings in Lancaster are mandatory.

"In this city, if you don't wear your mask, you're going to get a citation, you are going to get prosecuted. We're absolutely draconian about it," says Parris.

Parris says all are welcome but he does not want the lone display in Los Angeles County to attract massive crowds to the Antelope Valley.

Better he says for outsiders to stay away and let Lancaster enjoy a little Independence in their own hometown.
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