"Not your typical Fourth of July": Americans celebrate amid pandemic

Around the nation, most Fourth of July celebrations are muted or outright canceled. In 2020, tradition will have to wait.

The Boston Pops, America's orchestra, are silent this July 4. Their iconic fireworks spectacular has been canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Keith Lockhart, the Pops' conductor, has been at the helm for 25 years. Lockhart said shelving the live concert and showing a pre-taped performance is the right call. 

"This is definitely not your typical Fourth of July," Lockhart said. "This feels like a year that we really need this concert, we really need to come together and it's extremely frustrating to not be able to do that."

The pandemic and its resulting shutdown has hit the performing arts and the artists on every scale. 

Communities across the country are canceling or dialing back traditional fireworks. Macy's replaced its "spectacular" with "secret," staging 5-minute "unannounced" fireworks shows. 

At New York City's Rockaway Beach, New Yorkers said it wasn't quite the same. "I love Fourth of July," said one beach-goer. "Fourth of July is a big deal for me, I get down there under the Brooklyn Bridge. So I'm going to miss it." 

Yet on this Fourth of July 2020, there is one tradition still happening, but in an untraditional way. New American citizens took a drive-thru oath in a Detroit parking garage.

In Washington, among those new citizens is Janis Shinwari, a translator who saved the lives of five American soldiers in Afghanistan.

"Please join me in congratulating Mr. Shinwari," said U.S. citizenship and immigration officials.

New York City opened its beaches just in time for this holiday, with parks department personnel handing out masks. People told us it was good to just "get out" and that they were happy to comply with distancing and masking guidelines. 

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