Annual parade canceled but virtual events planned
By Scott Carlson
For the first time in memory, the St. Anthony Park 4th in the Park Committee is canceling the annual July 4th parade and related in-person activities, citing the need for social distancing due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This year would have been the 73rd year of the St. Anthony Park neighborhood’s 4th in the Park event,” said Colleen Healy, a 4th in the Park Committee member. However, the volunteer organizers decided that due to the coronavirus pandemic, “it was time to pivot and plan an alternative, safer way for the community to celebrate the Fourth of July.”
Emma Seeley, another 4th in the Park Committee member, added, “It wasn’t an easy decision, but it is definitely the safe thing to do.”
Typically, the annual day-long holiday celebration, which includes games and music, attracts upwards of 5,000 people.
Despite canceling the parade, the 4th in the Park Committee is planning various activities including a virtual float parade, to celebrate July 4th and support local businesses, Healey and Seeley said. Other members of the 4th in the Park Committee are Josh Becerra and Marie Lister.
For more information and ways to enter contests, residents can visit the 4th in the Park’s website, http://www.4thinthepark.org/.
The activities include:
• Parade float contest: Design your own parade float and then take a photo of it and submit to 4thinthePark@gmail.com to be included the committee’s virtual parade.The 4th in the Park group plans to live stream its virtual parade on the Fourth of July.
• A neighborhood treasure hunt: Travel in small groups with people you’ve been quarantined with to find interesting things around the neighborhood. All details about the contest and the treasure hunt will be on the 4th in the Park’s website and Facebook page.
• Essay contest: Winners of this year’s patriotic essay will make a video of their essay for social media distribution. Other contests include victory garden photos and front door decorating.
• Gift certificates to local businesses: Participants in various contests will be entered in a drawing making them eligible to win gift certificates to neighborhood businesses.
• A limited edition “quarantine 4th in the Park” t-shirt is in design, as this issue of the Bugle goes to press, and will be available for purchase. The likely cost for the t-shirt will be $15. This will be a fundraiser with proceeds going to support neighborhood businesses. A link to purchase the shirts will be posted on the 4th in the Park Facebook page and website. The 4th in the Park festivities are made possible by Sunrise Banks, the presenting sponsor, and community business sponsors and with donations from generous neighbors. Sponsorships and donations comprise the committee’s entire $20,000 annual budget. The entire event is planned and run by volunteers.