ELLERBE — The Berry Patch is once again salvaging Richmond County’s Independence Day celebrations.
Co-owner Lee Berry told the RO Friday evening that he and wife Amy have decided to provide a fireworks show on July 4.
Berry said they made the decision after the county’s other two traditional locations canceled for 2021.
Joey Bostick, president of the Ellerbe Lions Club, confirmed Friday afternoon that the club voted two weeks ago to call it off this year because of the uncertainty of future state COVID-19 regulations.
Currently, face masks are still required and outdoor mass gatherings are limited to 100 people per Gov. Roy Cooper’s executive orders.
In years past, Bostick said the event drew upwards of 2,500 people, though numbers have dwindled in recent years.
The 2019 Jamboree was originally canceled after a large show was promised at Rockingham Speedway. However, the club decided to go ahead with the plan. The speedway show was canceled a month before the scheduled event.
Strong thunderstorms on July 4 that year led the club to reschedule the show.
Bostick added that, while a smaller factor, the price of fireworks has increased by about 50%.
The Hamlet City Council voted Tuesday to cancel its festivities, also for the second consecutive year, citing budget constraints.
Berry said he is still deciding which night to hold the fireworks show since July 4 falls on a Sunday this year and he will be checking with the Ellerbe Fire Department.
Last year, the Berrys paid for fireworks after the Lions Club and Hamlet canceled for the same reasons as this year.
Bostick said the Lions Club is trying to plan something for the fall, hoping that things will be closer to “back to normal” by then.
Berry said they were “doing it for the kids” — both young and young at heart.
“I just hope everybody comes out and has a good time,” Berry said.