Park City, worried about coronavirus, intends to decide fate of Fourth of July celebration shortly |

Park City, worried about coronavirus, intends to decide fate of Fourth of July celebration shortly

The Independence Day parade, shown in 2019, draws large crowds on Main Street and elsewhere along the route. It is unclear how Park City will celebrate the 4th of July this year amid worries about the spread of the coronavirus. City Hall is expected to release information about the event shortly.
Park Record file photo

City Hall has not yet determined what sort of public celebration will be held to mark the Fourth of July, one of the biggest days of the summer-tourism season, amid the concerns about the spread of the novel coronavirus.

A large parade is typically held on Independence Day running from Main Street to City Park. It is one of two parades scheduled annually, alongside one on Miners Day. The crowd on the Fourth of July lines the route on Main Street and Park Avenue before gathering at City Park for a range of activities. Many stay in Park City the rest of the day as they await fireworks.

Jenny Diersen, who is the economic development program manager at City Hall, said preliminary information about the Fourth of July could be released next week. Monday is less than three weeks before Independence Day, leaving limited time to make any major changes to the operations to account for social distancing. Diersen, though, said any event that is held on July 4 would be held in a socially distant manner.

Social distancing, it seems, would be more challenging during the parade and the activities at City Park. The parade would likely be especially difficult to manage to account for social distancing since the crowd is usually nearly shoulder to shoulder and at least several people deep on the Main Street sidewalks.

Social distancing at the fireworks display, though, could potentially be accomplished by designating places for groups of people to watch. People watch the fireworks from a variety of places like the field outside the Park City Library and the Park City Golf Club.

The Fourth of July is usually jammed in Park City as crowds arrive from the Salt Lake Valley and outside the state to celebrate in a small-town atmosphere. Independence Day this year is on a Saturday, something that could potentially lead to even larger crowds than would otherwise arrive if the holiday was midweek. The Independence Day parade and celebration have long seemed to attract an audience with more people from outside the Park City area than the one on Miners Day.

The impacts of the illness have led to a series of event cancellations, damaging the summer-tourism season. The cancellations have included the Tour of Utah bicycling race, the Park Silly Sunday Market and the Big Stars, Bright Nights concert series.


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