BPRD ‘not hopeful’ 4th of July Pet Parade to return this year

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A final decision is still a couple of weeks away, but Bend Parks and Recreation is pessimistic about plans for the 4th of July Pet Parade.

“With the number of participants and spectators in the past years, I am not hopeful that we’ll be able to manage acceptable crowd size in alignment with state guidance, but we’ll make a final decision mid-month,” said Julie Brown, BPRD communication and community relations manager.

The annual event brings thousands of spectators to the sidewalks downtown while hundreds more participate by walking their pets through the streets.

A tradition since 1932, the parade was canceled last year for the first time since World War II.

Current COVID restrictions limit large gatherings like the Pet Parade. In fact, fans still aren’t allowed at events now like Portland Trail Blazer games.

And while Gov. Kate Brown has said she hopes to fully open the state’s economy in June, restrictions on large public gatherings likely will remain.

Julie Brown said BPRD needed to make a decision soon because of the permitting, staffing plans and communication support needed for the event.

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