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Danville: Kiwanis Club cancels Independence Day parade after town doesn't grant permit

Town says county, state haven't yet given recommendations for how to safely allow large community events

Danville's Kiwanis Club 4th of July Parade has been canceled, organizers said on Monday, after the town failed to give them a permit to hold the event. (Photo by Ryan J. Degan)

Danville's annual Fourth of July parade has been called off this year, according to the event organizers, who said they have been forced to do so after the town government failed to give them permission to proceed with the necessary time to finish all preparations.

Responsible for organizing the parade for the past 45 years, the Kiwanis Club of the San Ramon Valley said on Monday that it will be canceling the event in 2021 after the town was unable to approve the club's request to proceed with the parade due to county health restrictions related to the coronavirus pandemic.

"Kiwanis made the difficult decision to cancel the parade, which would have been our 46th Annual Kiwanis 4th of July Parade in Danville," John Lineweaver, president of the SRV Kiwanis Foundation and the Kiwanis Club of the San Ramon Valley, told DanvilleSanRamon.

"We are very disappointed in having been forced to make this decision, as the town of Danville will not issue a permit for the parade due to COVID restrictions," Lineweaver added.

After reaching out to the town to begin organizing the parade, Kiwanis members said they were told that Danville officials had not yet received clearance from the Contra Costa County allowing them to approve the annual parade.

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"The Town of Danville is currently unable to accept community event applications until the Contra Costa County Health Department authorizes large public gatherings, at which point the Town will revisit the Community Events Program," Kiwanis member Nick Gant said the town told the group, verbatim.

Town officials told DanvilleSanRamon on Monday that they are unable to approve the parade at this point due to uncertainty from state and county health officials, who have yet to release recommendations on how large community events can be safely conducted.

"We are waiting the same as everybody else for the county, everybody has a June 15th date (for community events)," Danville's public information officer Nicola Shihab said. "I think our issues are that even once we reach that date, even when we can release those permits there's going to probably be additional things that the event organizers are going to have to do like checking vaccines (and) capacity limits … that we just haven't been told yet by the county or state"

"These things typically take months of planning and organizing to achieve so, even though June 15 may seem doable, the amount the time that these things take, it just leaves very little time when you don't know what the recommendations from the county or the state are going to be," she added.

One of the San Ramon Valley's largest annual events, prior to the start of the pandemic the Kiwanis 4th of July Parade was well known for attracting more than 30,000 spectators and participants to downtown Danville.

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Last year's parade adapted to the ongoing pandemic by switching to a virtual experience that continued the town honored tradition in a social distancing conscious and safe manner. This year, however, Kiwanis officials confirmed that they will not be hosting a virtual celebration.

"We truly regret not being able to conduct a Live Parade in 2021.This breaks our 45-year tradition of organizing and conducting the Kiwanis 4th of July Parade in Danville. We hope to see you LIVE in 2022," Gant said in a statement.

Lineweaver added that historically the parade was a necessary part for funding the club's annual Grants Program, which benefits 30 to 40 local nonprofits annually. The 2021 program will still be funded thanks to the club's financial reserves.

"Fortunately, we have a reserve fund so that we were able to fund grants in 2021," Lineweaver said. "And will be able to do so again in 2022, when we hope and expect to bring back a live parade."

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Danville: Kiwanis Club cancels Independence Day parade after town doesn't grant permit

Town says county, state haven't yet given recommendations for how to safely allow large community events

by / Danville San Ramon

Uploaded: Mon, May 10, 2021, 9:01 pm

Danville's annual Fourth of July parade has been called off this year, according to the event organizers, who said they have been forced to do so after the town government failed to give them permission to proceed with the necessary time to finish all preparations.

Responsible for organizing the parade for the past 45 years, the Kiwanis Club of the San Ramon Valley said on Monday that it will be canceling the event in 2021 after the town was unable to approve the club's request to proceed with the parade due to county health restrictions related to the coronavirus pandemic.

"Kiwanis made the difficult decision to cancel the parade, which would have been our 46th Annual Kiwanis 4th of July Parade in Danville," John Lineweaver, president of the SRV Kiwanis Foundation and the Kiwanis Club of the San Ramon Valley, told DanvilleSanRamon.

"We are very disappointed in having been forced to make this decision, as the town of Danville will not issue a permit for the parade due to COVID restrictions," Lineweaver added.

After reaching out to the town to begin organizing the parade, Kiwanis members said they were told that Danville officials had not yet received clearance from the Contra Costa County allowing them to approve the annual parade.

"The Town of Danville is currently unable to accept community event applications until the Contra Costa County Health Department authorizes large public gatherings, at which point the Town will revisit the Community Events Program," Kiwanis member Nick Gant said the town told the group, verbatim.

Town officials told DanvilleSanRamon on Monday that they are unable to approve the parade at this point due to uncertainty from state and county health officials, who have yet to release recommendations on how large community events can be safely conducted.

"We are waiting the same as everybody else for the county, everybody has a June 15th date (for community events)," Danville's public information officer Nicola Shihab said. "I think our issues are that even once we reach that date, even when we can release those permits there's going to probably be additional things that the event organizers are going to have to do like checking vaccines (and) capacity limits … that we just haven't been told yet by the county or state"

"These things typically take months of planning and organizing to achieve so, even though June 15 may seem doable, the amount the time that these things take, it just leaves very little time when you don't know what the recommendations from the county or the state are going to be," she added.

One of the San Ramon Valley's largest annual events, prior to the start of the pandemic the Kiwanis 4th of July Parade was well known for attracting more than 30,000 spectators and participants to downtown Danville.

Last year's parade adapted to the ongoing pandemic by switching to a virtual experience that continued the town honored tradition in a social distancing conscious and safe manner. This year, however, Kiwanis officials confirmed that they will not be hosting a virtual celebration.

"We truly regret not being able to conduct a Live Parade in 2021.This breaks our 45-year tradition of organizing and conducting the Kiwanis 4th of July Parade in Danville. We hope to see you LIVE in 2022," Gant said in a statement.

Lineweaver added that historically the parade was a necessary part for funding the club's annual Grants Program, which benefits 30 to 40 local nonprofits annually. The 2021 program will still be funded thanks to the club's financial reserves.

"Fortunately, we have a reserve fund so that we were able to fund grants in 2021," Lineweaver said. "And will be able to do so again in 2022, when we hope and expect to bring back a live parade."

Comments

Jennifer
Registered user
Danville
on May 10, 2021 at 9:28 pm
Jennifer, Danville
Registered user
on May 10, 2021 at 9:28 pm

I'm disappointed. We look forward to the parade every year. Over 70% of Contra Costa County is vaccinated. When will we return to normal? Enough is enough!


Cheryl
Registered user
Danville
on May 11, 2021 at 11:15 am
Cheryl, Danville
Registered user
on May 11, 2021 at 11:15 am

In response to prior comment by Jennifer: While the county may show a 71% vaccination rate, that rate is based on adults and does not include youth and children who do carry and spread the virus. We must remain vigilant to get to true “herd immunity” and that won’t happen until even the youngest is vaccinated. By letting our guard down too soon, we could end up like the Seychelles who thought they had won the battle and are now struggling against it again.


Nicola Shihab, Public Information Officer, Town of Danville
Registered user
Danville
on May 11, 2021 at 4:30 pm
Nicola Shihab, Public Information Officer, Town of Danville, Danville
Registered user
on May 11, 2021 at 4:30 pm

The Town continues to find creative ways to keep the Danville spirit alive in the community. Our main priority is keeping the community safe and so we continue to adjust accordingly. At this time, the Town is unable to accept Community Event Applications for events that require the use of Town resources and public spaces such as parades, car shows, street festivals, etc., until the Contra Costa County Health Department authorizes large public gatherings. Therefore, most community events that draw large crowds have been postponed or canceled.

We have worked with the Kiwanis Club of San Ramon Valley to keep them updated on the current guidelines and talk through the logistics of the event and while it is certainly not what we wanted to happen this year, we fully support their decision, as the Event Organizer, to cancel the 4th of July Parade event.

The 4th of July Parade has a number of factors that make planning for an event this size, given the current ongoing health-related restrictions the county faces, extremely difficult. While the Town has been able to hold some events and is working to continue to expand our summer events calendar, these smaller events are only possible with pre-registration for a limited number of attendees. For an event like the July 4th parade that typically attracts around 40,000 people, it would be extremely difficult to control entry and keep people socially distanced and safe. While Contra Costa County has made significant progress vaccinating adults, we still have a large percentage of young people who have so far not been able to be vaccinated. As it currently stands, the State of California and Contra Costa Health Services have yet to develop or issue guidelines for large non-controlled/ticketed public events. We are constantly monitoring information being issued by both agencies and are hoping to receive some additional guidance by June 15, 2021, as part of the “Moving Beyond the Blueprint” plan. Continued....


Nicola Shihab, Public Information Officer, Town of Danville
Registered user
Danville
on May 11, 2021 at 4:30 pm
Nicola Shihab, Public Information Officer, Town of Danville, Danville
Registered user
on May 11, 2021 at 4:30 pm

While we wait on those guidelines we can only speculate what might need to be put in place by large event organizers. All indications are that any event guidelines for larger-scale public events will need to incorporate logistics that the event organizers will be required to implement and enforce (e.g. testing, proof of vaccine, registration, temp checks, capacity limits, face coverings, social distancing measures, increased sanitation, etc.). Given these considerations and the time scales involved, coupled with liability concerns for event organizers, the additional staffing, policing, and resources that this would entail, we understand why it is not possible for the Kiwanis Club of San Ramon Valley to plan for an in-person parade this year.

We are hopeful that events will continue to return in a modified form as we continue to move forward, although it will depend on the State and County guidelines, and the extra time and resources that will almost certainly be required to hold these events. We love our Town community events and will continue to work with our event organizers to monitor what activities are safe and realistic to implement. We appreciate your understanding, in the meantime, we will keep updating our website calendar with event details.

www.danville.ca.gov


Jennifer
Registered user
Danville
on May 12, 2021 at 12:26 pm
Jennifer, Danville
Registered user
on May 12, 2021 at 12:26 pm

Nicola Shihab -- Thank you for your reply.


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