Record editorial: Flexibility needed to celebrate the Fourth
Parkites gathering along the route as marchers and floats, decked in red, white and blue, make their way down Main Street to raucous cheers.
Fireworks exploding in the dusk sky above Park City Mountain Resort, delighting onlookers all over town.
Those are the makings of a typical Independence Day in Park City. But could they occur this year on a date other than July 4? Moving the events off the holiday itself — with the aim of reducing the number of people from the Wasatch Front in attendance — is one of several ideas City Hall is considering as it determines how to hold the festivities in a safe manner during the second summer of the coronavirus pandemic.
It’s unclear two months out from the Fourth of July whether officials will ultimately pursue a concept that is radically different from our normal celebration. But Parkites, for one year, should be open to the idea, as well as the others that have emerged in City Hall’s discussions about the holiday. With the coronavirus almost certain to still be a concern come July, it’s a situation that calls for creativity and flexibility.
Hold the Fourth of July parade on July 2, with fireworks the next evening? Sure. Move the location of the fireworks show from PCMR to another area in town? OK. Skip the traditional activities held in City Park on Independence Day? If that’s what it takes to ensure safety while maintaining the other elements of the festivities.
Some are likely to express frustration with all of those options. The Fourth of July is a treasured day for all of us, and after a year of coronavirus restrictions, Parkites are eager for a return to normal — especially now that vaccination rates are rising and case counts are falling, with additional progress likely between now and July.
But let’s remember how far we’ve come. Last year, Parkites had no idea whether the coronavirus risk would be reduced enough to make the holiday festivities possible in any form. That we’re even in a position to be debating what day to hold the parade and fireworks is a significant victory.
The pandemic, though, is not yet in the rear view mirror, and we must proceed accordingly.
That includes a willingness to alter the way we celebrate the Fourth of July for one more year if City Hall officials deem it the safest way to proceed.
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