COVID-19 outbreak leads to cancellation of annual day of festivities
By Sam Catanzaro
For the first time in over 70 years, Pacific Palisades’ annual 4th of July parade, fireworks and run will not be held due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
Every year on Independence Day, Pacific Palisades residents and visitors arrive early in the morning to jockey for a good spot at the 5K/10K. Then they set up their chairs along the parade route, and finally, enjoy dinner on the baseball field in advance of the concert and fireworks.
This year, however, things will be different for arguably the Pacific Palisades’ biggest community event due to COVID-19.
“This year, it’s with great disappointment that we must report to you for the first time since the founding of the Parade seventy-two years ago by the Pacific Palisades American Legion Post 283, and since the beginning of the 5K/10K Run forty-three years ago, we must cancel the Run, Parade, Concert and Fireworks. The health and safety of our community is paramount, and the limits on large social gatherings necessitates this difficult decision. While we’ll have many more Independence Days to celebrate, today we must all do our part to safeguard the health of our community,” reads a letter from Matthew Rodman, Parade (PAPA) President and Brian Shea, Will Rogers 5/10K Race President.
As of May 13, there 40 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Pacific Palisades and three in the Palisades Highlands. Neighboring Santa Monica has 212 confirmed cases while Brentwood has 70 and Malibu has 32. Countywide there have been 33,180 confirmed cases and 1,613 deaths.
This move comes as Dr. Barbara Ferrer, Director of Public Health for the County of Los Angeles, hinted that stay at home orders in the county may very likely be in place until July.
Regardless of what rules are in place when the Fourth of July comes around, event organizers say that Palisades residents still have something to look forward to on Independence Day.
“Now, the good news. We’ll continue to organize the Patriotic Home Decorating Contest, and mail to every household our Official 4th of July Program containing great articles & photos. This 4th of July we’ll welcome a squadron of a WWII fighter planes for a community-wide flyover at 2pm, which you can and should view from your home. We’re hoping that you’ll celebrate with us, albeit in a different way in 2020,” reads the letter.
For more information about the Fourth of July festivities in the Pacific Palisades, visit www.Palisades4th.com.