A member of the Homer Senior Citizens Center float marches in the July Fourth parade on Thursday, July 4, 2019 on Pioneer Avenue in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)

A member of the Homer Senior Citizens Center float marches in the July Fourth parade on Thursday, July 4, 2019 on Pioneer Avenue in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)

No July Fourth parade in Homer this year

The Homer Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Center has canceled the annual July Fourth parade in Homer, citing concerns over the lingering threat of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The annual event normally takes place on Pioneer Avenue every July 4, with a different grand marshal each year and prizes given out to the best floats. Chamber Executive Director Brad Anderson said the chamber decided to cancel this year’s parade because there was concern the organization wouldn’t be able to pull off a safe version of the parade with participants spaced out for the appropriate social distancing.

The state Department of Health and Social Services advises people maintain at least 6 feet of distance between them and people who are not in their households, and to wear face coverings when that distancing isn’t possible.

“It just really became a concern we were hearing from many of our regular participants,” Anderson said.

Anderson said the chamber had considered putting on a virtual parade that involved only the floats and participants, with no crowds of onlookers. But even building the floats themselves brings people within close proximity of each other, he said.

The chamber had also considered using the event to honor local health care workers by making them the grand marshals.

“We were doing really well in our (COVID-19) numbers (early on) and how the state was responding, so we were going to shift that to kind of recognize everybody,” Anderson said.

However, it wouldn’t have sent a good message to try to honor health care workers with a parade that put groups of people together on floats, Anderson said. In the end, there were just too many safety concerns.

The parade is slated to return on July 4, 2021. In the meantime, Anderson said the chamber is focusing on guiding local businesses through the economic fallout of the state’s previous COVID-19 restrictions and mandates.

Reach Megan Pacer at mpacer@homernews.com.

More in News

Photo by Brian Mazurek/Peninsula Clarion 
                                The entrance to the Kenai Peninsula Borough building in Soldotna is seen here on June 1.
Application period for borough relief funds begins Monday

Borough residents can apply for these grants July 13 through July 24.

Homer Farmers Market: Farmers offer stability in times of uncertainty

In a time of uncertainty, it certainly is nice to know where… Continue reading

Hospital adds new COVID-19 rooms

An increase last month in positive COVID-19 cases on the lower Kenai… Continue reading

Peonies cover a table, ready to receive people at a field to vase dinner tour hosted by Certified American Grown Flowers on Saturday, July 29, 2017 at Scenic Place Peonies in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)
Homer Peony Celebration begins this week

With many large or indoor events canceled this year due to the… Continue reading

COVID-19. (Image courtesy the CDC)
9 new COVID-19 cases on the Kenai Peninsula

The central Kenai Peninsula saw growth in the number of new COVID-19… Continue reading

The Betty J. Glick Assembly Chambers in Soldotna, Alaska. (Peninsula Clarion file photo)
Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly overrides mayoral veto of hybrid election system ordinance

Members of the Kenai Peninsula Borough assembly voted to override a mayoral… Continue reading

Independence Day parade organized after official event gets canceled

The continued spread of COVID-19 across Alaska prompted many official organizations and… Continue reading

A young volunteer chases three piglets named Mary Hamkins, Petunia and Sir Oinks-a-lot through a race during the pig races at the Kenai Peninsula Fair on Friday, Aug. 16, 2019 at the Kenai Peninsula Fairgrounds in Ninilchik, Alaska. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)
Kenai Peninsula Fair canceled this year

Cotton candy, carnival rides and racing pigs will have to wait for… Continue reading

Members of the Homer City Council interview candidate Rob Dumouchel for the job of city manager on Wednesday, July 1, 2020 via Zoom in Homer, Alaska. Top row from left to right: Council member Joey Evensen, Mayor Ken Castner, Council member Heath Smith. Middle row from left to right: Council members Donna Aderhold, Rachel Lord and Storm Hansen-Cavasos. Bottom row from left to right: Candidate Rob Dumouchel and Council member Caroline Venuti.
Council offers city manager job to California candidate

The Homer City Council voted last week to offer the job of… Continue reading

Most Read