NORTH RIDGEVILLE, Ohio (WOIO) - This Labor Day weekend is raising the alarm bells when it comes to COVID-19 parties and gatherings.
There’s concern nationwide that the urge to get out and celebrate could lead to a surge in the coronavirus nationwide.
Labor Day celebrations are already underway, but Gov. Mike DeWine is warning Ohioans to remain vigilant about curbing the spread of the virus, especially when attending any public gatherings or events.
Following the last two major holidays, Memorial Day and the Fourth of July, coronavirus cases surged.
In North Ridgeville, a Labor Day celebration at Victory Sports Park was prepared for a gathering of up to 1,500 people.
But it appears COVID-19 concerns may have been a factor in keeping people closer to home, because the crowd may have only reached about 200 by the end of the night.
Victory Park General Manager Joe Borkey said, “I think so, with everything that’s going on in the world whether it be social distancing concerns about the pandemic itself. People are pretty much staying to themselves these days. We’re just hoping to give them the ability to go and do something a little bit different and still feel safe about it.”
The Field Day and Fireworks Show at Victory Park offered everything from Bubble Ball to a Magic Show.
One local woman said her family packed their masks in case they need them and they’ve taken other precautions, but they want to enjoy the holiday with the kids.
“They’ve missed out on so much. Getting them out and having activity is important to them,” Amy from North Ridgeville said.
One local vendor who owns Baileys Boardwalk Fries says he normally does 35 events by now, and they’ve only done two so far this year because of the coronavirus.
But, they’re encouraging people to get out but do it safely by taking all the proper precautions.
Greg Cuiffo of Bailey’s Boardwalk Fries said, “It’s just to stimulate some activity and get people out to enjoy themselves. You have to live.”
The fireworks display was the grand finale to the evening, and some chose to sit in their cars to watch the fireworks, while others put lawn chairs just outside their vehicles as a way of enjoying the nice evening while also staying socially distant and safe.
The Governor concerned that progress made in curbing the spread could be lost if safety measures take a holiday.