The virus that suspended the NBA season, canceled March Madness, and kept so many sheltering at home this spring has disrupted another annual experience: The Park Cities Fourth of July Parade and Picnic.
The town of Highland Park, the city of University Park, and the Rotary Club of Park Cities on Wednesday announced the cancellation of the annual celebration as residents have come to know it.
Rotary officials are working toward an alternative celebration that will involve home and block patriotic decorating contests, a flag-making competition for children and youth, and other activities including a streaming broadcast of messages celebrating Independence Day with video of past parades. Monitor this website and the Park Cities 4th of July Facebook page for updates and details.
Read the joint announcement of the town, city, and club below:
The Town of Highland Park and the City of University Park have long enjoyed our partnership with the Rotary Club of Park Cities in hosting the July 4 Parade and the post-parade celebration in Goar Park. Each year thousands of residents line the streets in anticipation of sighting the first decorated vehicles and floats. Without a doubt, our two communities cherish this camaraderie and the chance to demonstrate our love of country. Likewise, both young and old have wonderful memories of the fun, games, and products offered by the vendor booths that encircle the park.
As COVID-19 has spread throughout the county, and State and County orders have kept us safe at home, Rotary Club parade organizers and the Town and City have been discussing this year’s festivities. As Texas continues to reopen for business, regardless of the guidelines and recommendations that are presented in the next several weeks, it is apparent that social distancing is one practice that will remain in place far beyond July 4. For that reason, above all others, in partnership; the Rotary Club, Town and City have made the difficult decision to not host a July 4 parade and Goar Park celebration this year.
In the interest of public health, we believe this decision is best for everyone, whether they are event organizers, parade participants or street-side and park attendees. We know this announcement will come as a great disappointment for many. We are disappointed too. Fittingly though, as everyone strives to keep loved ones and their circle of friends and workplace associates healthy and safe, we also know this decision is consistent with one of the values we celebrate each Independence Day – respect for others. We genuinely thank you for your understanding and support.
As we get closer to the holiday, make sure to check Facebook@ Park Cities 4th of July Parade for details about alternative fun activities, and please continue to monitor social media and website postings from the Town and City for additional holiday related information.