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The Fourth, scaled back

Celebration goes on, though some Independence Day traditions won’t


Tanzi Propst/Park Record

This article appears in The Park Record’s July Adventure Guide, which can be viewed in full in our e-edition or at parkrecord.com/special-sections/adventure-guide/.


Gone is the parade, the annual tradition that marks the true start of summer in Park City and draws thousands of people to historic Main Street for a small-town twist on Independence Day. So, too, are the pancake breakfast, live music performances and other festivities that mark the holiday in nearby City Park.

Even the fireworks that usually light up the Park City sky are a no-go this year.

Yes, the Fourth of July is drastically different from what we’re used to, a result of the coronavirus pandemic that has upended our lives and made gathering in large numbers dangerous.

But even though we won’t all be getting together to celebrate like in years past, that doesn’t mean we can’t still enjoy the holiday.

For one, Parkites can still visit Main Street, which city officials planned to turn into a pedestrian-only zone similar to the one implemented on Sundays throughout the summer this year. You can stop by your favorite mom-and-pop shop, grab a bite to eat on one of the outdoor dining areas expanded into the street or just take in the atmosphere.

If you’re heading to the dining, shopping and entertainment strip, though, you ought to note that Summit County recently received permission from the governor to implement a mask mandate in public places in order to limit the spread of COVID-19. So be prepared to take that precaution and others, including maintaining distance from others who’ve decided to spend the Fourth on Main Street.

One tradition slated to go on despite the coronavirus is the 38th annual Fourth of July 5K Fun Run that benefits Park City Ski and Snowboard, albeit in a radically different format to ensure the safety of participants. Runners can register through Sunday, July 5, and complete a 5k run, jog or walk on the established race course — or another route of their choosing — then log their time using Strava. For details, visit parkcity4thofjuly5kfunrun.athlete360.com.

Beyond that, consider a small backyard barbecue followed by lighting off approved fireworks at home, or perhaps escape into the outdoors for a picnic or a weekend camping trip. Whatever you do, just do it safely.

This year, we’ll celebrate Independence Day in a subdued fashion. And we’ll look forward to next year, when a large-scale bash worthy of the stars and stripes, complete with the Main Street parade, fireworks and everything else, will hopefully again be possible.


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