The Arlington Independence Day Parade is the longest running event in the city. However, it will take a hiatus this year, due to a decision late last month by city leaders and event organizers to cancel the parade because of a spike in the number of coronavirus cases in Tarrant County. Here is the city’s official announcement about the cancellation:
With a rising number of COVID-19 cases in Tarrant County, the Arlington 4th of July Association decided Thursday, June 25, to cancel the Arlington Independence Day Parade in the interest of public health.
Parade organizers had been working closely with Arlington public safety leaders and local health officials for weeks to create an event plan that would allow the community to celebrate the nation’s independence safely in Downtown Arlington. The plan, recently reviewed and approved by the Governor’s Office, included asking spectators to follow social distancing, hand sanitizing and face covering recommendations and to stay home if they felt ill in an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
But with news of a significant rise of hospitalizations and Tarrant County’s new executive order requiring people to wear face coverings at businesses and large public gatherings due to the imminent threat of widespread illness from COVID-19, the association decided to cancel this year’s July 4th parade.
“Even though this is the longest running event in Arlington and it’s one that brings the whole community together every year – this is the community we were keeping in mind when we made this decision. We felt like it wouldn’t be prudent to invite tens of thousands of people out to Downtown in light of the pandemic,” said Kevin Donovan, Arlington 4th of July Association Board president. “We didn’t want to contribute to the spike in cases in any way.”
Arlington Mayor Jeff Williams thanked the Arlington 4th of July Association for its collaboration with the City to create a memorable, safe event.
“I want to express my gratitude to the parade committee, to our fire, medical and police departments and our city staff for working so hard to put together a successful July 4th parade. I know they really wanted to put on a great celebration for the citizens of Arlington. However, public health has to be the top priority, and, with the rise of the virus, this year’s parade regretfully had to be canceled,” Williams said.
The City of Arlington will host a free fireworks display at 9:30 p.m. Friday, July 3 in the heart of Arlington’s Entertainment District, just north of Globe Life Field.
Globe Life Field, AT&T Stadium and Six Flags Hurricane Harbor parking lots will be open to the public starting at 8 p.m. so that families can set up chairs or tailgate at safe social distances and enjoy the free show, thanks to the City’s partnership with the Rangers, Cowboys and Six Flags. Spectators are encouraged to remain at and around their vehicles, maintain social distancing, wear a mask when appropriate, maintain proper hand sanitation, keep all trash with them, and bring their own food and drinks.
“We encourage citizens to stay in their cars or at their cars and not congregate in any way so they can enjoy the fireworks safely,” Fire Chief Don Crowson said.