Expresses Executive Committee
On March 4th, considering the effects of COVID-19, the 40th Mikuni Fireworks Festival, which was scheduled to take place within September in Fukui Prefecture’s Sakai City, was declared suspended by its executive committee. As a COVID-19 countermeasure, a system to charge for all seating was considered, as a way to restrict admission. However, it was determined to be difficult to guarantee the safety of the attendants and local residents. This is the second consecutive year in which the fireworks festival has been suspended.
In regular year, the number of attendants to the Mikuni Fireworks Festival surpasses two-hundred thousand, being among the largest fireworks festivals within the Hokuriku region. Last year, the fireworks festival had been suspended due to the difficulty in securing security personnel, in connection with the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, before it had been postponed. During this year’s instance, the executive committee looked at the state of how the festival would be operated during the COVID-19 pandemic. Last October, considering the increased risk of heat stroke due to wearing masks during the summer, the festival that had been scheduled for September 18th, although normally taking place on August 11th.
Last autumn, COVID-19 infection rates across the country had slowed down, but had completely changed shortly after. Currently, including within Fukui Prefecture, the number of COVID-19 patients have been declining, and a vaccine plan is being laid out throughout the country. However, how the situation progresses into the future remains unclear.
At the Mikuni Fireworks Festival executive committee meeting on March 4th, the members all agreed that they “would wish for the event to be held, if it was possible”. But among opinions such as “it will be impossible to prevent crowding in the surrounding areas, even with restricting admissions”, and “there is a high chance that the vaccine will not reach everyone by the time of the fireworks festival”, the Sakai City executive office also stated that, “holding the event will be difficult”.
Based on such opinions, executive committee leader Hiroshi Dojo expressed, “if we push to hold the event, and it results in an increase of infections, that is something we cannot undo”, confirming the executive committee’s decision to suspend the Mikuni Fireworks Festival.