Redmond residents won’t be able to view the fireworks show for the 4th of July celebration from the Deschutes County Fairgrounds parking lot. Not counting COVID-19-related restrictions, it’s the first time in decades the lot will be closed for viewing the show.
Fairground officials cite public safety as the foremost concern, forcing many to find a different place to celebrate the 4th of July.
“We’re disappointed that we don’t have the opportunity to open the facility for people to view, but public safety is always the number one priority,” Deschutes County Fair and Expo Director Geoff Hinds said. “A few bad actors have put this to where others aren’t able to enjoy it. But hopefully, we can figure out a solution (for future years).”
Hinds says last year’s event produced dangerous behavior, causing injuries and hospitalizations. The decision shocked many Redmond residents, including Kala Tucker, who has fond memories of watching the show at the fairgrounds while growing up.
“I feel like they’re taking away from that childhood experience for kids who love fireworks,” she said. “Being able to park on the fairgrounds and get a really good view of the show is something that kids really look forward to every year.”
Another Redmond resident Sami Tucker acknowledges the importance of prioritizing safety but added that the absence of fairground viewing would feel strange.
“Redmond always had a big grand show and a big kind of welcoming for people to come and enjoy together,” she said.
Hinds says those wanting to view the show can still do so from other locations and that fireworks are viewable from most of Redmond.
“If we can come up with a solution that makes sense, that’ll make sure that all everyone that’s getting the opportunity to come see them can do so in a safe and enjoyable fashion,” Hinds said.
According to Hinds, there are ongoing conversations between officials and the city about potential other solutions for future years.