MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — With many official events canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic, people still got out in the hot weather to celebrate the Fourth of July holiday on Lake Minnetonka.

At a time when so much in life can feel politicized, enjoying a day on the water appeared to be relatively agreed upon for people at the lake.

Several groups planned to head out to Big Island, but even there, COVID-19 has led to differences in opinion. Spencer Shellum says he hasn’t seen anyone wear masks or socially distance at Big Island the last several weekends, and he’s fine with that. Dekha Ali agrees.

“We’re young and healthy so it’s OK,” Ali said. “We can have a good time.”

READ MORE: After 100+ Got Sick On Big Island Last Year, Officials Brace For 1st COVID July 4th

Giana Tavares and her friends feel differently. They said they will pull the anchor if it gets too cramped.

“It’s a fine line,” Tavares said. “We’re outside, so it’s easier to distance, but with boats in small spaces, if it’s your close friends or family I feel like that’s one thing, but joining strangers tying up, that’s just not safe.”

Both parties agreed on the importance of sunscreen and hydration as a way to stay safe in the heat.

There was some disagreement over what it means to respect the American flag. Kenny Smith took a knee in front of three red, white and blue Jeeps flying flags, which upset the Jeep’s owner, John Moss. Smith says he knelt to show solidarity with people who have died at the hands of police.

“Whether you stand for the flag or kneel for it, you are showing deep respect for it,” Smith said. “I have 100% respect for the virtues of our country. I just don’t believe they’re being upheld.”

Moss said Smith shouldn’t do that.

“It’s too disrespectful,” Moss said. “If he doesn’t like it, go somewhere else. This is America. This is what we do here.”

David Schuman

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