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story.lead_photo.caption The Fulton Independence Day Parade and fireworks show will take place Saturday. Photo by Fulton Sun file photo

The show will go on.

Despite worries about COVID-19 and its impact on finances and gatherings, Fulton residents will be able to celebrate the Fourth of July holiday much like they do every year.

Starting at 11 a.m. Saturday, the annual Independence Day Parade will set out from the south gate of William Woods at 12th Street and continue down Nichols Street, east on 10th Street and down Court Street to Memorial Park.

"We feel like there will be enough space to social distance whatever people feel is appropriate," Mayor Lowe Cannell said.

Parade organizer David Beaver invited all of the health professionals in Callaway County to serve as grand marshals — including the Callaway County Health Department, Fulton Medical Center, local nursing homes, doctor's offices and the Harry S. Truman Memorial Veterans' Hospital.

"It doesn't hurt to re-emphasize how much these people have helped," Beaver said. "The COVID-19 virus has been such a dramatic bad thing for the whole country. We thought we should recognize they people who are putting their own health on the line to keep us safe."

Beaver asks anyone else interested in joining the parade to contact him at 573-642-5479.

"If I've missed anyone, I'd be tickled to death if they'd call me," he said.

Beaver and his friends began the parade eight years ago. Since then, it's gotten bigger each year.

This year, the parade won't feature the Fulton High School summer band or local Girls Scouts troupes, as the pandemic has made it difficult for both groups to meet.

"Just come out and remember social distancing," Beaver said. "It's a long parade route so enjoy the day and help celebrate our country's birthday."

After the parade, the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2657 is hosting a fish fry.

The Fulton Country Club is also hosting its annual golf tournament beginning at 10 a.m.

As the day wraps up, the City of Fulton will set off a fireworks display at dusk. This year, the city agreed to cover the cost of the display, taking the burden off of the Fulton Country Club, who usually funds half the cost.

"The (city) council approved $5,900 with the assumption that we would try to get some folks to help with that cost," Cannell said.

Along with the city and Fulton Country Club, Walmart, Ameren UE, Dollar General, C&R Markets, Mosers Grocery, Callaway Bank, Central Bank and the Fulton Street Fair Committee pitched in.

"We did get a really good response. Local vendors paid for over half the cost," Cannell said.

In Jefferson City, the three-day Salute to America celebration is scheduled to include concerts, a carnival, a parade and a fireworks display spread out over July 3-5, with some precautions in effect such as a ban on handouts, added handwashing stations and a longer parade route.

The City of Holts Summit will not be holding its July 3 festival and fireworks show.

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