Coronavirus cancellations change holiday weekend plans

Local News

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – The popular ‘Spirit of Kansas’ fireworks show is held at Lake Shawnee every Fourth of July, but this year it is pushed back to September because of coronavirus.

But people in Topeka aren’t letting that stop them from having fun. Some say they’re still planning to spend time by the lake, just not for the fireworks.

Linda Burch was out paddleboarding at Lake Shawnee with her family on Friday.

She said they were planning to visit Universal Studios in Florida, but doesn’t want to get on a plane right now. Instead, they decided to opt for something with a little less people.

“We’re just gonna do like a family gathering, very small because you know the corona,” said Burch. “But yeah, mostly we just spend our time on the water.”

Tim Mallams was out on the water as well. He said they also would’ve gone out of town this weekend, but won’t because of coronavirus.

“We would’ve went to Omaha or Kansas City or Denver. Or someplace and just enjoyed the weekend,” Mallams said.

But like many, instead they’re sticking around town making their own socially-distanced fun.

“Shoot some fireworks off, play some corn hole games, barbecued, all the usuals,” Mallams continued.

He said the canceled events aren’t bad news for everyone though.

“People that have fireworks tents, they’re going to do well. You know the businesses that are selling food, they’re going to do well,” said Mallams. “Which the economy needs that money, but if you don’t make your own fun tomorrow, it will just be literally another day.”

And he’s right. Fusion Fireworks in Auburn said their sales are up more than 90 percent this year.

Ally Oakes was loading up on fireworks and said normally, her family would have a big barbecue. But they’re opting for something more low-key this year to stay safe.

“It’s really nerve-wracking this year to get together with that many people all at one time so our plan is just to stick close to home, shoot the fireworks off in our neighborhood. Just kind of with our own tight-knit family and maybe a few neighbors,” Oakes said. “But that’s kind of why we’re out here today loading up and stocking up and getting as many of the big ones as we can before they sell out.”

The car show that is scheduled for the Fourth of July at Lake Shawnee is still happening since it doesn’t attract that many people.

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