PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Pittsfield's famed Fourth of July Parade has fallen victim to the COVID-19 pandemic once more.
On Friday morning, Mayor Linda Tyer delivered "breaking news" that the parade will be canceled this year for the second time since 1977. It was also canceled last year due to the novel coronavirus.
"It's disappointing to have to put another pause on the Fourth of July parade, but I just don't think that we can safely hold it this year," Tyer told local radio station Live 95.9.
Though large outdoor gatherings of 250 people and parades will be permitted at 50 percent capacity beginning on May 29, Tyer said this does not help the parade because there is no way of determining the capacity and then limiting it to half. The parade regularly brings thousands of people to North Street and involves hundreds of participants and volunteers.
Pittsfield Fourth of July Parade Committee President Peter Marchetti added that the committee is brainstorming alternative options such as a citywide July 4 house decorating event.
Based on COVID-19 restrictions, he said, the panel wants to try and plan a belated event in the fall. The committee will meet on May 12, when alternative parade plans will be deliberated and announced shortly afterward.
In January, the parade committee was hopeful about the event's fate and was making plans despite many unknowns. At the time, members felt that vaccinations could help make the parade possible and that the thousands of attendees could stay 6 feet apart for social distancing during the more than two-hour march.
The committee has put parade fundraisers on hold until the May decision.
If it had gone forward, the theme would have appropriately been "An Old-Fashioned 4th: The Way We Were."
Additionally, Tyer announced that for the same capacity issues, monthly Third Thursday events will be on hold until the fall.
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — After working in many different positions at Pittsfield High School for more than 16 years, Maggie Harrington-Esko has been tapped as the new principal.
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