COVID nixes July 4 parade

Jill Meier, Journal editor

The coronavirus has nixed another community event.

Earlier this month, Three Rivers VFW Post 4726 had announced it would be staging a Fourth of July parade, but late last week, they made the call to cancel it.

“After lots of consideration and planning, unfortunately we are going to have to cancel the planned Fourth of July parade. With the practice of social distancing still being recommended, as well as many other logistical influences, the officers and members of the Three Rivers VFW Post 4726 have decided that this is the best idea,” said parade chairman Chris Southard. “We were trying to look at it any way possible logistically, it just wasn’t happening, and rather than leaving everybody in limbo, we thought we’d announce it now.”

Southard said there were many factors considered in the parade cancellation.

“Yes, COVID was one,” he said. “Have you gone anywhere in Brandon or Sioux Falls? People are still wearing masks and socially distancing themselves. Another factor is the logistics. It seems like every other day a road that was open is closed and vice versa. There is a lot that goes into planning a parade, (and) it was a great idea to do one, however, there were many things not in our favor.”

Southard invites community members to share their thoughts and ideas for any future parades.

Road construction in the first phase of the multi-year core area reconstruction project would also keep the parade from going down Main Avenue past the VFW.

Southard said VFW officers and members look forward to having a Parade of Lights in December.

“Hopefully, we will be back to some type of normalcy sooner rather than later,” Southard said.

The parade was just one of a handful of events planned for the Fourth of July in Brandon.

With the recent passage of fireworks allowed to be discharged in the city limits, free fun and games that evening at McHardy Park, and fireworks at dusk are two surviving events of the day.

Brandon’s longtime Loyalty Day Parade tradition – always held the first Sunday in May – was scaled down to a handful of units this year due to the coronavirus. Local police and fire department units, along with VFW and American Legion units, filtered through the neighborhoods throughout the city to keep the town’s 55-year parade run intact.


The Brandon Valley Journal


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