The National Park Service has canceled the 2021 Independence Day Parade on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., citing concerns for participants' preparation and travel safety due to COVID-19.
What are the details?
In an announcement about the cancelation, the NPS spokesman Mike Litterst wrote that the parade was scrapped "due to logistics and planning limitations."
"The marching units that travel from across the country to participate in the parade have not had the necessary 8 to 18 months to organize, rehearse and fundraise before making the trip, and most are still unable to travel due to COVID-19 concerns," the agency explained. "We are unable to stage a successful event without the excitement and sound provided by these high school bands, drill teams and other youth organizations."
The Park Service statement concluded, "We share everyone's disappointment in this decision and look forward to presenting this red, white and blue celebration of America's birthday again on July 4, 2022."
The Washington Post reported:
Litterst called the parade "collateral damage" from the pandemic but said the fireworks display might still go on. Though the parade was canceled last year, the fireworks went off amid protests in D.C. over the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police and a speech by President Donald Trump on the South Lawn of the White House.
What about South Dakota's event?
President Trump also attended a huge fireworks display at Mount Rushmore on the Fourth of July last year, but last month the NPS rejected South Dakota's request to hold the event again this year.
"Potential risks to the park itself and to the health and safety of employees and visitors associated with the fireworks demonstration continue to be a concern and are still being evaluated as a result of the 2020 event," NPS Regional Director Herbert Frost wrote in a letter to South Dakota Tourism Secretary Jim Hagen.
"In addition, the park's many tribal partners expressly oppose fireworks at the Memorial," Frost added.
As TheBlaze previously reported, the day before the NPS canceled the Mount Rushmore Independence Day fireworks show, "President Joe Biden said in an address to the nation that if Americans continue to listen to Dr. Anthony Fauci, wear masks, get vaccinated, and socially distance, there is a 'good chance' folks can gather in 'small groups' by July 4th."