It's another sign of a return to the "old" normal: Fourth of July fireworks displays are being scheduled for this summer.

It was a quiet Independence Day in 2020 as most displays were canceled on the Seacoast and around the country because of outdoor crowd restrictions.

Some displays were postponed and others outright canceled due to social distancing protocols and concern about large crowds.

This Independence Day it's a different story as gathering limits put in place during the pandemic in New Hampshire are scheduled to end on Friday clearing the way for firework displays.

The city of Dover on Sunday said it is planning a display that will launch from Garrison Hill Park so crowds can see the show from all over the city rather than gather in one spot.

"Garrison Hill is a location where no one can actually be in the park on the hill but they can spread out all around wherever they can see the hill and they don't have to feel like they've in a congested space. They can sit in their own areas with people they know and family members," Recreation Director Gary Bannon told Seacoast Current.

Bannon said more shells will be fired higher making for an display that can be seen beyond Dover.

"They should be able to see it anywhere in the city, even Rollinsford and Somersworth. If you can see Garrison Hill you'll be able to see it," Bannon said.

Not everything is back as the downtown concert and vendors in the park will not take place this year, according to Bannon.

It wasn't the pandemic directly that canceled the fireworks in Hampton Beach in 2020, according to Hampton Beach Village District chairman Chuck Rage.

"We had a problem with the piping plovers. They nested right where we would be coming into the beach and we weren't able to light fireworks near them because they're an endangered species," Rage told Seacoast Current."Otherwise I'm at about 98% sure we're going to be able to get everything done."

The district has scheduled 23 fireworks displays at the beach, at the top of B and C Streets at 9:30 p.m are scheduled starting with a special show during the sand sculpting contest on June 19. A display is scheduled for the Fourth of July.

And the piping plovers? Some hatched but not all of them survived.

"The reason they nested on the beach was because the beach was completely banned so they said 'oh this is a nice quiet spot,'" Rage said. "This year the beach isn't closed and there's all sorts of people going up and down the boulevard and walking the beach so they wouldn't look at it as a nice quiet area."

The Greater Portsmouth Chamber of Commerce said on its website said it is planning a display this year in Portsmouth with details to come.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNH

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