SALEM — The city's traditional Fourth of July celebration will not happen this summer. 

Salem officials said Friday they consulted with the National Park Service before making the decision, pointing to state restrictions on outdoor gatherings that would limit the event to 250 people. 

In a typical year, the city's Fourth of July concert and fireworks celebration at Derby Wharf draws thousands. 

Instead, Salem is tentatively planning a special fireworks display during Heritage Days in August. In an updated timeline Gov. Charlie Baker announced earlier this week, the state is on track to enter the final reopening phase on Aug. 1.  

“We continue to do all that we can to keep our community safe for everyone,” Mayor Kim Driscoll said in the announcement. “Unfortunately, even with the improving public health metrics, we will not be in a place where the City or the National Park Service believes we will be able to safely gather on Derby Wharf in July. It’s far too important that we continue to slow the spread of COVID. We are looking forward to welcoming everyone back to our historic waterfront to celebrate on July 4, 2022.”

Alternatively, residents are encouraged to decorate their homes and businesses red, white and blue and to fly American flags in honor of Independence Day. Salem has also announced a special social media hashtag for residents to use when posting images of the day: #SalemCelebratesJuly4th.

"As a reminder, the use of fireworks is illegal in Salem and, around July 4th, fines are increased for illegal fireworks," the city said. 

— Cheryl Richardson

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