While many had hoped to see annual parades return in 2021, a number of local organizers are again choosing to cancel or modify their large-scale events.
And while concern over COVID spread remains a factor, organizers tell Channel 11 that a number of additional issues are contributing to the changes, particularly a lack of funds.
On Tuesday, the Brentwood Fourth of July Committee announced it is once again calling off its traditional parade down Brownsville Road, which has been a community favorite for more than a century.
“We work really hard on bringing the best parade possible each year, but unfortunately, we just had to pivot this year, so that’s why we’re having a Fourth of July detour,” said Melissa Lenigan, Committee Chair.
Lenigan said there will however be some of the typical festivities this year, including the annual flyover at 1 p.m. on Sunday, July 4. The fireworks display will take place at Brentwood Park at 9:30 p.m, and they will still hold a smaller parade through the borough’s neighborhoods.
The exact route hasn’t been announced yet, but Lenigan said there will be music, firetrucks, candy and Brentwood Bank’s beads tossed.
“We’re going to bring the parade to you! You can enjoy it from your front yard with family and friends. And, this way, we don’t have as many expenses incurred.”
Lenigan said that the traditional parade comes at quite a cost, with money spent on participants, extra policing and more.
The parade committee is a non-profit organization and does not receive taxpayer money or any funds from the borough. The pandemic has resulted in fewer donations and sponsors, not to mention a number of lost fundraising opportunities.
Lenigan said they’re also seeing less interest and fewer volunteers.
In Latrobe, coordinators are facing some of the exact same issues, prompting them to cancel their Fourth of July parade. Organizers tell Channel 11 that they plan to have alternative festivities, which will be announced sometime next month.
Channel 11 told you last month that Monroeville’s Fourth of July parade has also been called off this year.