Fireworks lit up the sky over Spartan Stadium Saturday as Friends of Portsmouth presented their Fourth of July event Light Up the Sky.
The event, which was a drive-in style show of fireworks due to social distancing and other precautions for the coronavirus, brought out residents from around the area to watch colorful bursts fill the sky and send children into laughter.
“I am just really glad I get to spend time with people who I have barely gotten to see and of course the fireworks,” said Carlea Kitts.
Kitts, who attends the fireworks every year, said although she did miss not having the food trucks and some of the other usual Fourth of July activities, she was thankful they still had them at all.
Others were thankful they were still able to put on a show as well.
“I love these firework festivals no matter how they set them up because it is just a good way for people to come out and get together,” said Alex Pierce. “I am happy they are having them at all, I didn’t figure they would because of COVID-19.”
Pierce, who has also attended the fireworks every year, said it felt great to be out even at a social distancing event because he felt he has been in quarantine for a year.
Friends of Portsmouth made sure to keep safety precautions throughout the event by handing mask and sanitizer out to those who attended the event and by parking cars several feet apart, giving people the option to sit outside of their car.
In order to help keep everyone safe, Friends of Portsmouth also set up a group of people called the Fun Police, whose job was to make sure everyone attending followed the safety guidelines.
Edwin Martell, City Councilman and Fun Police volunteer at Light Up the Sky, spent the evening making sure everyone was social distancing and handing out mask and sanitizer as needed.
“Friends of Portsmouth said they needed volunteers for the Fun Police, and I was like totally that sounds so awesome.”
Martell said he volunteers with various organizations that need help with events like Light Up the Sky and was very happy to see the amount of people who were taking mask and influencing others to wear them as well.
“We are going to do everything we can to make sure everyone is sticking to the guidelines,” said Martell. “I am hoping we have a nice crowd but also a crowd that is going to stay safe and practice social distancing, I love my city of Portsmouth.”