Pandemic Cancels Historic Berkshire County Summer Tradition
The Pittsfield Parade Committee is sad to announce the cancellation of the 2020 Pittsfield Fourth of July Parade due to the coronavirus pandemic according to Parade Committee President Peter Marchetti.
In a press release sent to WSBS, Marchetti said, “We have been following the current situation and believe it would not be prudent to have a gathering the size of the parade under the current conditions. We know that each year we have a couple thousand people lining up in the assembly area for the parade as well as thousands of spectators lining the parade route.”
“It is very disappointing that we need to cancel this year’s event after the community rallied last year behind the parade to save it. This year’s parade was themed, “A Star Spangled Fourth” and the poster is a rendition of Wahconah Park and an evening of fireworks.” The Committee recognizes that some people collect the parade posters and they are currently working on finding a way to make this year’s supply available to the public for free while supplies last.”
In an effort to recognize the parade, The Parade Committee is teaming up with PCTV to re-air all of the archived parades in their entirety starting Friday July 3rd. According to PCTV Executive Director Shawn Serre, “PCTV will air a special historical program about the long history of the parade going back to the origins and a special “Parade Retrospective” show. The show would be like a “director’s cut of parade highlights going back through our archives. We feel that we can do something to make this year’s 4th of July as normal as possible. This will take some work by PCTV staff and parade committee members.”
In a statement from Mayor Linda Tyer she acknowledges “This was a tough decision for the Parade Committee and I commend them for taking seriously the public health threat that still exists because of Covid-19. I am confident that next year’s parade will be better than ever because we will come together to celebrate victory over Covid-19.”
The parade has been a time-honored tradition for more than 100 years. Covid-19 may have won the 2020 race but the parade will be back with a strong and entertaining parade in 2021. The parade is always a great time but not logically possible with social distance guidelines. Marchetti said, “At the end of the day it is about maintaining the safety of the residents of Berkshire County winning out over taking a chance with a parade.”
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