Fireworks shows are the traditional way to celebrate Independence Day, but for some communities across the southwest, including Arizona, Colorado and California, there will be no fireworks this year.
Claremont’s July Fourth fireworks typically launch from a field at Pomona College, where the area must be saturated with water for several days to reduce the risk of fires.
The process uses 650,000 gallons of water — enough to supply three households for an entire year, according to city officials.
The Claremont City Council said that is too much water during a drought.
Maria Schulz is visiting Claremont from Arizona, where the drought also canceled Fourth of July fireworks in several cities. While she is sad about missing the fireworks this year, she said she understands the reasoning.
“We need to make allowances so we can all have quality of life, long term,” Schulz said.
Besides canceling fireworks shows to save water, electronic signs remind Claremont residents of the strict outdoor watering restrictions — only one day a week.
Other festivities will still go on at Memorial Park, where the chairs and stage are already set up for the weekend.
Schulz said the holiday will still be a great celebration despite the lack of fireworks.
“The birth of our country is a big day for all of us,” Schulz said. “We celebrate it any way we can, even if it’s not the normal way.”