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Firework show to delight in Vina, despite canceled July Fest

The COVID-19 pandemic claims another victim with the cancelling of Vina’s July Fest, but the fan-favorite firework show is still set to continue.

The firework show is planned for the day July Fest would have been held, July 26 at 9 p.m., with attendees practicing social distancing and watching the fireworks from their vehicles.

“The firework show is something that always draws a lot of support, so we wanted to keep that part,” said Vina Fire Chief Michael Moomaw. “The firework show usually brings a lot of the town together and brings a lot of people back to Vina.”

Vina Rescue Squad secretary and event coordinator Denise Rogers said this would have been the 30th year of July Fest.

“It has been going on for so long, and it is just something everyone always looks forward to,” Rogers said.

Rogers said after looking at the number of positive cases in Franklin County, cancelling July Fest “felt like the right thing to do.”

“We were saddened, but it felt like something that was necessary to make sure we protected our community,” Rogers said.

She said in addition to the rise in positive cases, another factor making it difficult to hold July Fest was how behind preparation was because of COVID-19.

“Our (Draw Down) ticket sale is one of our main events, but it would be hard to sell tickets,” Rogers said. “This isn’t something that can be put together in 30 days.”

Moomaw said planning usually begins in March, around the time when the virus began to surface, so planning was paused.

“We are really going to miss not having July Fest this year,” Moomaw said. “The July Fest brings a time of fellowship where people from Vina and the surrounding areas can come together.”

Some of the top events at July Fest are the car show, the fireworks and the Draw Down, where the last ticket pulled wins $17,000.

“The drawing is always my favorite because you can see the excitement on everyone’s faces, especially the closer it gets to the last ticket,” Moomaw said.

In addition to bringing family fun for the entire community, July Fest is the biggest fundraiser for the Vina Fire and Rescue Department, generating most of that year’s funds. Rogers said it will be a difficult year financially without July Fest, but she knows everything will work out in the end.

“With so many festivals being cancelled, a lot of nonprofits are taking a hit,” Rogers said. “At the end of the day, we are all in this together, and we will get through it together.”