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Neighbors Have Misgivings About Drive-Up Fireworks Show At Los Alamitos Base

LOS ALAMITOS (CBSLA) — Fireworks shows across Southern California have been canceled due to concerns of spreading coronavirus – but not in Los Alamitos.

After a special meeting Monday to consider canceling, the city of Los Alamitos is moving forward with its annual fireworks show at the Joint Forces Training Base, albeit with some changes.

"We've usually never had a problem, usually everyone congregates and has fun," resident Rosemary Shevlin said. "But this year, given the situation and the pandemic kind of changes that."

This year's event will be a drive-up fireworks show. Admission is free and roughly 3,000 vehicles will be allowed to enter the base – but every person in each vehicle will undergo a temperature check. Pedestrians, walk-ins and bicycles will not be permitted, attendees must wear face coverings and stay in or directly in front of their vehicles.

Across Southern California, most local fireworks shows have been canceled, and in Los Angeles County, they have been banned altogether in attempt to prevent people congregating and possibly spreading COVID-19. The L.A. County ban on fireworks shows prompted the cancellation of another planned drive-in fireworks show at the Irwindale Speedway, which says it will fully refund the $50 per car to anyone who purchased their admission in advance.

With so many shows canceled, Shevlin is concerned more people than usual will congregate outside the base – and near her home.

"And then there is people who park in the neighborhood and walk up to the fence right there because that is a perfect view of the fireworks," she said. "If you look straight up it's a beautiful view, but what about us that live there? We want to go out and we want to be six feet from everybody.

Linda Riccio attended the show last year. Even with the changes for safety this year, she says she won't be back.

"As a human being and for myself, I won't be going but I'll be able to watch from my condo," she said. "This year, I don't think it's worth it."

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