Guests watch and enjoy the Kiwanis Club fireworks show at Apogee Stadium in 2018.

This year’s Fourth of July fireworks show at Apogee Stadium has been canceled.

The Denton Noon Kiwanis Club, which organizes and hosts the event, announced the decision Thursday night on Facebook.

The club cited public safety concerns due to the ongoing pandemic and the size of the crowds that attend, both inside and outside UNT’s Apogee Stadium.

The University of North Texas is limiting access to the campus until fall, which also impacted the event. Hank Dickenson, executive senior associate athletic director at UNT who has chaired the fireworks event for the past 20 years, said between UNT’s directives and Gov. Greg Abbott’s recommendations against large gatherings, the cancellation was the right thing to do.

“It’s an event that draws people out and together, and that’s not what we’re doing right now,” he said. “I’m very upset we had to do it, but I was very much in favor of pushing it back a year.”

Hundreds come out to local events to celebrate the Fourth of July

The group has hosted the fireworks show since 1972, and proceeds traditionally fund services at the Kiwanis Club Children’s Clinic, a network of medical and dental providers serving local children in need. Since the event has been at Apogee, there’s tailgating, live music and, of course, a large fireworks display.

The Kiwanis will push the event and resources to next year, when Dickenson said he’s hopeful there will be a new normal and the event will be able to happen safely.

“It’s just another casualty of what’s going on,” he said. “If we can get back to a new normalcy within a year, we can have the biggest and best show ever.”

Dickenson said this was one of several cancellation decisions he has been a part of since COVID-19 was first reported in Denton County in March, such as the major Serve Denton fundraiser.

JENNA DUNCAN can be reached at 940-566-6683 and via Twitter @JennaFDuncan.

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