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July 4, 2020, 9:07 a.m. EDT

As much of US dials back July 4 plans, Trump goes big

Trump is set hold his “Salute for America” celebration Saturday with a speech from the White House South Lawn, a military flyover, and a fireworks display that is expected to draw thousands to the National Mall

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By Associated Press

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“Happy Fourth of July weekend, and wear a mask,” Newsom told his state’s residents.

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker urged businesses and residents to comply with public health measures over the July 4 holiday weekend, warning that precautions were essential to continue to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Pritzker warned he won’t hesitate to close down businesses that don’t abide by capacity requirements, and he encouraged people to avoid large crowds and wear face coverings.

“Letting our guard down now would fly in the face of the progress we’ve made over many months,” Pritzker said.

Some Americans are hoping to make do with their own firework shows.

At Casey’s Fireworks Friday in Columbia, South Carolina, mostly masked shoppers wove through aisles, selecting their own explosives after some annual July Fourth shows were cancelled due to COVID-19.

Health officials there have seen a spike in cases that has the state trailing only Arizona and Florida in the 14-day average of newly diagnosed COVID-19 cases adjusted for population.

The fireworks shop, like many around the country, has been unexpected beneficiary as more Americans have decided to put on their own shows. The spike in sales started around Memorial Day.

“This whole COVID thing has been really bad all around,” said Forest Casey, a fourth-generation fireworks salesman at the family-owned shop. “But for whatever reason it makes people really want to buy fireworks.”

South Carolina has some of the most liberal fireworks laws in the nation. Stands across the state sell pyrotechnic bricks that launch a dozen or more shells with explosions that rival a small town’s annual show.

Some said they are trying to make the best of the situation. Jamie Parrott, a local pediatric neurologist, said he intends to stay at home with his grandchildren, setting off fireworks safely and eating hamburgers.

“We’ll muddle through,” Parrott said.

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