Marco Island to celebrate July 4th with fireworks after COVID-19 hiatus

Marco Island City Council voted unanimously Monday to support a Fourth of July fireworks display after it was not approved last year due to COVID-19 concerns.

City Councilor Erik Brechnitz said it would be a "wonderful" event for the island.

"I think that after a year of living in isolation this island deserves a celebration," Brechnitz said.

City Councilor Greg Folley said he supports the fireworks display.

"We have put this on hold long enough," Folley said.

From 2020:Marco Island will likely not celebrate Independence Day with fireworks due to COVID-19 concerns

From April:Will Marco Island bring back 4th of July fireworks after last year's COVID-19 hiatus?

City Councilor Chairman Jared Grifoni said he missed the Independence Day fireworks celebration that was cancelled last year.

"The island missed it terribly last year," Grifoni said.

City Councilor Becky Irwin said she has received many communications from residents about the fireworks display.

"Nobody is opposed to it that I've heard," Irwin said.

Florida Senator Kathleen Passidomo speaks with Marco Island councilors via Zoom about bills approved during the most recent legislative session on May 3, 2021.

Samantha Malloy, manager of parks and recreation with the city, said the city budgeted $65,000 in fiscal 2021 to make the fireworks spectacle possible.

"We are currently working on receiving a quote from (the firework company)," Malloy said.

More:Fireworks will fill Fourth of July skies in Bonita Springs

Malloy said City Council will consider approving the fireworks display contract once the fireworks company submits a quote for its services.

In 2019, City Council authorized a $59,000 contract with Zambelli Fireworks for that year's Fourth of July fireworks, minutes of the meeting show.

The pyrotechnics crew kept finding more ordnance they hadn't set off. Marco Island celebrated the Fourth of July with fun and games at Uncle Sam's Sand Jam, followed by fireworks and lightning, with the action centered on Residents' Beach.

City Manager Mike McNees said local businesses have so far committed $10,000 for the fireworks display.

Another local organization that canceled its Fourth of July celebrations last year was the Marco Island Civic Association, which has hosted Fourth of July festivities for 35 years, according to Ruth McCann, the organization's executive director.

MICA's typical Independence Day celebration includes games for kids, crafts, face painting, music and a sandcastle-building contest on Residents' Beach.

MICA will not do its traditional Fourth of July celebrations again this year, but Residents' Beach will remain open to its members throughout the fireworks display, McCann said Tuesday.

Then-councilors Charlette Roman, Larry Honig and Howard Reed voted in May of last year against the motion to have the fireworks display. They cited coronavirus-related concerns such as requesting barely open businesses to donate money for the event and unmanageable crowds which could have spread the virus. Then-councilor Victor Rios and councilors Brechnitz and Grifoni voted in favor, resulting in a tie.

A motion can only pass when adopted by the affirmative vote of at least a majority of council members present and voting at the meeting.

At least two cities in Southwest Florida, Fort Myers Beach and Bonita Springs, have recently announced they will host a Fourth of July fireworks display after suspending them last year due to the pandemic.

Contact Omar at, and follow him on Twitter as @Omar_fromPR. Support his work by subscribing to Naples Daily News.