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The Salida Business Alliance (SBA) met On Thursday, June 18 to discuss and brainstorm this year’s Fourth of July festivities. Many of the traditional activities are canceled or vastly adjusted this year due to the coronavirus pandemic known as COVID-19.  The SBA and the City of Salida are working together to create a safe and fun holiday for the whole community.

Patriotic colors dominated the crowd’s apparel at Riverside Park on a recent July Fourth holiday event.

The three main things the SBA hopes to accomplish in collaboration with the City include:

  • A parade
  • Chalk art around Alpine Park
  • A firework alternative — or if weather allows — fireworks

One option for the parade would be to plan a standard parade in its exhibition, but stretch it out longer than normal, to allow for social distancing. People would be encouraged to spread out along the parade route. The route would be longer with no one on foot, allowing only people on bikes and in cars.

The other option might be a “reverse” parade where parade participants would be spaced out and stationary, so the community could then drive, walk or ride around the floats. There would be a set time, possibly two hours or so to allow everyone a chance to see it all.

The theme of the parade is “Mas(k)querade”; purposely to encourage mask-wearing. Float participants as well as the community are encouraged to dress up and get creative with the theme.

The idea extends across other mediums; participants would be encouraged to tag photos on Instagram or Facebook with the Salida Business Association’s account to participate in a contest.

The SBA is also thinking of doing a lighted parade down S Mountain above downtown Salida at dusk.  Parade participants might start at the top of the mountain and come down,  or in town and go up the mountains. Participants would need to decorate their bikes in lights and headlamps. Once down the mountain, the participants could then ride a route through town, possibly ending at the High School. This would provide a safe alternative to fireworks.

There is currently no deadline for finalizing the plans, however, the SBA along with the City says that it is working on the safest activities possible. It expects to finalize plans by early next week to allow famlies to plan.

While the city debated alternatives to the 4th of July fireworks a few months ago due to what was already becoming a drought situation, it made the decision to proceed toward a traditional fireworks display. The danger of wildfire remains in the extreme range, and officials say they remain hopeful that the county will receive enough moisture to proceed with the fireworks display.