Some Superior Businesses See Different Customer Traffic Due to Canceled Fireworks Show
Bars and restaurants and attractions seeing a bit more customers, but many staying home.
SUPERIOR, Wis.- The City of Superior abruptly canceled their 4th of July fireworks show the day before, causing some businesses to adapt to the change in customer flow.
“We weren’t sure what to expect coming through,” Dustin Heckman, Executive Director of the Richard I. Bong Veterans Historical Center said.
A year with fireworks would bring both Superiorites and others visiting Northern Wisconsin to the area’s bars, restaurants and attractions.
“The thing you normally see is, you normally see more people in the building, more people having a couple drinks with family that are in town and that sort of thing and we just don’t have that this year for obviously good reason,” said John McKone, Bar Manager at Shamrock Bar and Pizza.
According to officials, the decision to cancel the fireworks show this year was made to help ensure community safety, during the recent increase in positive COVID-19 cases in Douglas County.
The pandemic, according to McKone, has kept many of his customers home.
“They might not be going out and seeing a group friends or something like that, they might keep it to people that they they feel more comfortable being around instead of being in a business or that sort of thing,” he said, amid Shamrock’s mostly empty dining area.
But that caution hasn’t completely left patronage away. Throughout the day, some more families filed in for food, while others still made it a point to eat the locally-made pizza at home.
“Our takeout business has been very good,” said McKone. “The eat-in people have been very measured whether they want to come in. If there’s a lot of people we might see someone come in and might say ‘oh actually I’ll just have it to go’ or whatever.”
While business has been steady at the Bong Veterans Historical Center this year, they are seeing less visitors than past years. Years, Heckman said, with programs featuring historical re-enactors — last year in particular featuring portrayals of all the presidents on Mt. Rushmore.
“Last year we’ve had 770 people through the door and we’re going to be lucky if we hit 10% of that today just with everything that’s going on,” the Executive Director said.
Yet despite the normal celebrations that have become synonymous with the Fourth, Heckman says it’s important to take time to remember the meaning behind Independence Day. “This is where our country was founded and this is the great leap and the great experiment that we’re going through still 244 years later.”
“And just understanding all that means and it’s more than just fireworks and more than all the fanfare and barbecues and everything like that. It’s celebrating what this country’s about,” he said.