By Scott Carlson
After a one-year hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic, the 4th in the Park festival with its annual live parade for July 4th is set to return.
But event organizers say this year’s parade will be smaller as one part of an overall scaled-down festival. They will be implementing several protocols to minimize any potential COVID-19 problems.
“4th in the Park is doing a very condensed version of the 74th annual celebration this year,” said Emma Seeley, a 4th in the Park committee member. “It’s all pretty last minute as we didn’t start planning until the Covid restrictions loosened.”
Schedule of events:
8 a.m. Langford Park races. Registration at Langford Park Recreation Center ($10 for adults, $5 for 15 and under). Races start at 8:30 a.m.
4 miles: Divisions for men, women and masters (age 40 and older).
2 miles: Joggers and juniors (age 15 and younger).
11 a.m. Grand parade begins
Proceeding from Luther Place, down Como Avenue to Langford Park via Knapp Avenue. This year’s parade is a condensed version that will include color guard, neighborhood units and children’s specially decorated bikes, trikes and wagons. But no one will be throwing out candy to parade spectators, one of several Covid protocols.
In 2020, the 4th in the Park group held a virtual parade.
12 p.m. Bandstand program
Following the parade, a short program including music by Light of the Moon with special guests Dave Lee and Gordy Myers, and a performance by spoken word artist Desdamona will take place at the Langford Park bandstand.
Pick up a copy of the list at Speedy Market the day of the 4th or it will be posted on the 4th in the Park’s website and Facebook. All participants who complete the scavenger hunt by 5 p.m. will have their names put in a hat for a gift certificate to their favorite neighborhood business!
For more information on the scavenger hunt, the committee’s Covid safety plan and map of the parade route, please go to: 4thinthepark.org
Typically, the 4th in the Park’s usual, annual day-long holiday celebration, which includes games and music, has attracted upwards of 5,000 people. But last year, organizers held a largely virtual festival, including a virtual parade.
Fourth in the Park organizers said they hope their annual event next year, its 75th anniversary, will be back to normal.
“We hope to return to our usual, full scale parade and all-day park events,” Seeley said.
Scott Carlson is Bugle managing editor.