Bend Parks and Recreation announced Monday the annual Downtown Bend 4th of July Pet Parade is canceled for the second straight year due to continued COVID concerns.
“With crowd sizes of 6,000-8,000 in recent years, we don’t think we can ensure a safe event of that size,” said Julie Brown, BPRD’s communications and community relations manager.
Officials earlier this month said they had doubts the parade would happen this year.
But hope returned a week or so later after Gov. Kate Brown announced she planned to fully open the state’s economy and end most of the current COVID restrictions in early June if 70% of the state was vaccinated by then.
“Community health and safety are our top concerns as we do our part to evaluate activities that have been put on hold during the pandemic,” said Don Horton, executive director. “Our staff resources are focused on providing higher priority services to residents and those needs in parks, trails and recreation facilities need to come first this summer.”
A tradition since 1932, the parade was canceled last year for the first time since World War II.
“We look forward to resuming these annual traditions in 2022,” added Horton. “For this year, we ask for understanding with the cancellation.”
For community members seeking July 4th celebration activities, family swim will be offered at Juniper Swim & Fitness Center, roller skating will occur at The Pavilion, and the parks and trails will be open and ready for families and individuals to enjoy as part of the holiday.
This is a developing story.