By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Lathrop opts to cancel birthday fireworks due to COVID tracing rules
This type of aerial firework not only glows brightly but also features some screeching sound effects, a crowd pleaser during Fourth of July displays. A handful of illegal fireworks were confiscated in Escalon, though this display was a professionally done, legal show. - photo by Marg Jackson/The Times

For the second year in a row there will be no fireworks show in Lathrop for its annual birthday celebration at the start of July.

Last week the Lathrop City Council declined to budget the money necessary for the annual fireworks show because of the constraints that are still in place for local communities when it comes to public gatherings due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to a Lathrop city official, it would be difficult for the city to ensure that the event – which commemorates Lathrop’s founding, and typically takes place on or around July 1 – doesn’t eclipse the 5,000-person cap currently in place by the State of California.

Exceeding that number would mean that the City of Lathrop would be responsible for contact tracing in the event than an outbreak of COVID occurs, and such an undertaking would be a logistical nightmare for a small city to tackle with a group that large.

Last year the fireworks event was cancelled along with a long list of summer community staples because of the restrictions in place for public gatherings during the pandemic – including the popular “Movies in the Park” gatherings that returned last week.

Smaller community events where social distancing is still possible will likely remain unaffected moving into the summer as evidenced by the return of movies in the park – which will continue this Friday at dusk at the amphitheater at the Lathrop Generations Center, albeit with pre-registration required – and the reopening of the Lathrop Senior Center later this month.

After an extended closure due to the pandemic and the city’s decision to perform renovations to the facility during that time, the Lathrop Senior Center will once again reopen to the public for an open house event on Tuesday, June 22, from 9 a.m. to noon at the facility located at 15707 5th Street.

Live music, free food, and a chance to meet new instructors and sign up for classes are all scheduled to be a part of the re-opening event.

For additional information about upcoming events in Lathrop, visit the City of Lathrop’s website at

To contact reporter Jason Campbell email or call 209.249.3544.