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Many Fourth of July events in South Walton canceled due to COVID-19

Published: Jun. 25, 2020 at 4:54 PM CDT
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WALTON COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Fourth of July is the biggest weekend of the year for South Walton. That's according to the tourist development council.

But with more visitors, comes more concern about covid-19.

Walton County Commissioners met Thursday to talk about options when it comes to outdoor events.

In the end, they decided to follow the Governor’s order, and limit events to no more than 50 people.

"Really putting it on the event planner to use these guidelines to do whatever they feel is going to make their people working the event, those attending the event as safe as possible," said Louis Svehla, Public Information Manager, Walton County Commissioners.

This cancels many Fourth of July events in the county, but event planners say they just want locals and visitors to be safe.

"We want to make sure events happen again in South Walton, but in order for us to do that moving forward, as we're seeing across the country, we need to make sure there are guidelines in place that put everyone on the same page for everyone's safety," said Kevin Boyle, who works with Seaside.

Boyle said says there also needs to be more COVID-19 testing.

"We need to be able to have that in place in order for us to have large gatherings again," Boyle said.

Seaside has implemented a curfew beginning at 8 p.m. June 26.

Seaside already canceled their summer events, and Alys beach has canceled events through the fall.

Visit South Walton said it’s expecting a five percent increase in occupancy this Fourth of July weekend. That comes after a seven percent increase in the amount of rooms available.

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