Chowan-Edenton Optimist Club announced the cancellation of this year’s annual Fourth of July Celebration.

On Friday, Club President Kirk DeVine said the organization hoped to hold the event this year.

“While talking with Town of Edenton officials, there was a lot of concern expressed about the virus,” he said of COVID. “We couldn’t figure out a way to hold it without people gathering or doing things that may break social distancing guidelines or the governor’s executive orders. We didn’t think it would be responsible or considerate to the people of Edenton and Chowan County to hold it this year.”

Governor Roy Cooper’s pandemic-related Executive Order 204 raised the “indoor mass gathering limit to 50 persons and the outdoor mass gathering limit to 100 persons, which will allow people to gather in larger numbers with friends and loved ones, while still adhering to Face Coverings and mitigation measures, as a strategy to limit the spread of COVID-19 transmission posed by large crowds.”

Every year, thousands — many from outside of Chowan County — line Edenton’s waterfront to watch fireworks at the Optimist Club’s Fourth of July Celebration.

The Optimist Club have hosted the annual July 4 celebration for the past several decades. The celebration usually includes activities at Colonial Park and a fireworks display around dusk. They did not host the event last year due to the COVID pandemic.

Optimist Club loves hosting the annual celebration of the United States and the freedoms its citizens enjoy.

“We love the country and want to be able to celebrate,” DeVine said. “We hope to do it next year. For now, people can celebrate at home with family. Hopefully next year, we can host it.

“We’re Optimists,” DeVine said with a laugh.

Other annual activities held in Edenton have been postponed due to the pandemic and the attendance limit for outdoor gatherings.

Pilgrimage, a tour of historic Chowan County homes held every two years by Edenton Woman’s Club, will be held Oct. 8-9. It is traditionally held in the spring.

Boogie on Broad, an annual dance and street party held in the spring by Destination Downtown Edenton, has tentatively been rescheduled to Labor Day weekend in September.