It will look different and things will not be as they always have, but Jamestown Mayor Nick Shearer told the Jamestown City Council Thursday night that there will be a Lakefest celebration for Fourth of July this year.
“We’re going to do all we can do,” Shearer said. “I think we’re moving in a good direction too. I don’t think we go at it full force just yet, but I think we have a day, maybe two days of independence. With that being said, unless I see something that would change my mind, we’re pressing forward and pressing forward at a high rate.”
“And we’re going to have to modify some things,” Shearer added. “We just will, but we’re going to be prepared. It’ll be different. I’m not sure what it’ll look like, but it’ll be different. We’re going to have to be more tedious on stuff, but we’re going to do it. We might not have all the stuff we normally would, but we’ll have entertainment and we’re going to have a good time. There may be some things we can’t have, but we’re going to have a Lakefest and we’re going to be really excited to have people coming into Jamestown.”
The topic arose near the end of Thursday’s city council meeting as councilman Barry Coffey addressed the council in favor of holding Lakefest.
“I know this weighs heavy on you, Mayor, and I know how serious COVID is,” Coffey said. “With that being said, I think concerning the Fourth of July, and I know it’s a difficult decision, I just want to put my two cents worth and it may not mean anything, but I think we need to plan for it. Anything can happen and I realize that, but I feel like the people of Russell County and surrounding areas need something. We just can’t keep living under a rock. You’ve gotta have something to do or people go crazy.”
Shearer said the city is currently looking for music acts for the festival, and have reached out to several artists over the last few days.
Councilwoman Regena Hinton supported the decision as well.
“I think people are really struggling to get out and find things to do,” Hinton said. “I think people will be glad to hear this.”
Councilman Terry Robertson said he has taken COVID precautions seriously and understands the concerns, but believes the citizens of Jamestown and Russell County need something like Lakefest this year.
“It’s easy for me to be gun shy about having it,” Robertson said. “But I would have to agree, I think people do need something like this.”
Of course, Shearer said, these plans come with a caveat that the number of COVID-19 cases locally doesn’t take a rapid and sharp increase, and more restrictions are set in place.
“Things can change and I know that,” Shearer said. “But as of 6:33 p.m. today, we are going to have Lakefest.”