Independence Day is just a couple of days away, and with looser guidelines and restrictions under Gov. Rickett’s latest Directed Health Measure many communities are gearing up to celebrate the holiday. For those of us who enjoy fireworks displays, cookouts and good times with family and friends - that is welcome news.

The Gothenburg Fire Department will be hosting their annual display at Lake Helen the night of the 4th. The public will be allowed to set up lawn chairs and spread out blankets in the area surrounding the lake, other than around the veteran’s memorial where the lighting of the fireworks takes place. The show will get started at dark, around 10 p.m. While people are being permitted to gather, the City is asking the public to exercise physical distancing precautions.

For those who would like to make a weekend of it, the Johnson Lake Area Chamber of Commerce will host the 20th annual “Light up the Lake” fireworks display on Friday, July 3, beginning at 10 p.m. The fireworks will be discharged at the south end of the lake. Local radio stations KAMI 100.1 FM and 1580 AM will be broadcasting patriotic music to accompany the display.

On Saturday, guests can enjoy the 13th annual Johnson Lake Boat Parade. Participating boats will register at The Nautical Rose between 9-10 a.m. and the parade will launch at approximately 10 a.m. The parade will return to the docks around noon where prizes will be awarded to the winners.

The Lexington Area Chamber of Commerce will host a fireworks show on Saturday at the Kirkpatrick Memorial Park beginning at 10 p.m. The City of Lexington will also host a 5K run/walk July 3-5.

The City of Gothenburg reminds residents that city ordinance prohibits the discharging of fireworks before 10 a.m. and after 11 p.m. on all days leading up to the 4th. On that day fireworks may be lit between the hours of 8 a.m. and midnight. After midnight on July 4th the lighting of fireworks is not permitted.

No fireworks may be discharged by the public in the park or on Lake Helen at any time. This includes during the City display the night of the 4th, when only fireworks being lit by the Gothenburg Fire Department as part of the display are allowed. Residents are also reminded to be respectful of the community and clean up all used and spent fireworks from the streets and sidewalks.

Have fun this weekend, while practicing caution, safety and respect.

Contact Ellen Mortensen at ellen@gothenburgleader.com or call 308.537.9498