Covington cancels participation in Riverfest

Decision joins neighboring cities in desire to protect residents
COVINGTON, Ky. - Citing health and safety concerns related to the pandemic, the City of Covington is canceling its participation in the annual Riverfest fireworks.
Covington joins the cities of Newport and Bellevue, which have previously made similar announcements.
“This is about protecting the health and safety of our residents,” said Covington Assistant City Manager Bruce Applegate, who is leading Covington’s response to COVID-19. “Two things are absolutely clear: Health officials are strongly counseling against any large gatherings of people, and the number of COVID-19 cases in Kentucky and across the nation have been increasing dramatically.”
The City’s decision was contained in an executive order signed this afternoon by Covington Mayor Joe Meyer. Meyer polled the Board of Commissioners at its meeting Tuesday of this week, and the consensus was to cancel participation.
The fireworks are typically shot off of a barge in the Ohio River, with crowds gathering by the hundreds of thousands in boats and along the shorelines on both sides of the river.
Covington’s executive order references public health guidelines issued by Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear and Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine related to the pandemic and says those guidelines provide “immense logistical and service limitations” on the City’s ability to support the festival.
As a result, according to the executive order, Covington will neither issue licenses or permits in support of Riverfest nor direct any public resources or funds to it. The order can be seen HERE.
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