DAUPHIN ISLAND, Ala. (WALA) -- The stars and stripes can be seen proudly flying high across Dauphin Island. Like other cities across the gulf coast - the island is erring on the side of extreme caution -- cancelling the big Fourth of July fireworks show amid COVID concerns.

"It's probably one of the more difficult decisions I've had to make as a mayor. I lost a lot of sleep over this believe it or not," said Mayor Jeff Collier. "The issue really came down to we had to ensure every attendee would remain at 6 foot distance and all these requirements -- that we just didn't feel like we could do that and do that right.'

While it may not be the most popular decision, Mayor Collier beleives it's the responsible one.

"First of all we didn't know how many people would show up. With a lot of the fireworks shutting down we thought that might send a lot of people down here. And it today's world being responsible for 25,000-to-30,000 people -- that's a tall order," said Collier.

The decision is drawing mixed reaction from visitors and locals.

"It would overcrowd the beaches but at the same time I think everyone should be allowed to make their own decisions. I don't see a problem with it as long as people wear facemasks -- it might be a big group but it would be no different if people went to the mall," said Julia & Haley Nobles.

"We understand it... But it is kind of a let down because we look forward to it. And as you see today -- a lot of people are being very active with their social distancing and keeping up with the guidelines," said Dale Gareiner.

Gina Gonzales and her crew are vacationing from Birmingham.

"It takes a lot of work and a lot of manpower to have that many people, especially on such a small island. Personally, I understand it... They just want people to be safe probably," said Gonzales.

And while the pandemic may be forcing a scaled down Fourth -- there's no doubt -- the red, white, and blue will be celebrated.

"Honestly, I think next year this might be a thing of the past and we've all hopefully learned something from it and taken something positive from it," said Gonzales.

The Dauphin Island Veterans Association will still hold it's July 4th ceremony at Water Tower Plaza at 11 a.m. Meanwhile, Mayor Collier says the company who offered to sponsor the show has agreed to put on the fireworks display next year.

All content © 2020, WALA; Mobile, AL. (A Meredith Corporation Station). All Rights Reserved.

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