Most of us had hoped that the COVID-19 pandemic would be slightly diminished by now so that we could resume our regularly scheduled summer plans of days at the beach, evenings around the fire pit and weekends with friends and families. We had vacations planned, tires rotated in preparation, and road trips mapped out with a beeline away from the reality of coronavirus.


I dare say a lot of us are damned disappointed right now. Coronavirus cases are surging, not plummeting, across the United States, and California is looking the pandemic square in the eye as the numbers of infected continue to rise in the wake of canceled plans and stymied getaways.


The 4th of July celebrations in our towns have been scrapped due to the pandemic, and that leaves local leaders looking for innovative ways to celebrate the red, white and blue while remaining socially distant and observing statewide regulations to minimize the spread. Luckily, we’re blessed with some whip-smart community folks who are thinking outside the box and endeavoring to make the best out of a less-than celebratory situation. Here’s what to look for when it comes to marking Independence Day in the valleys.


Scotts Valley: Tune in for a virtual 4th of July parade and watch family, friends, sports teams, local businesses and the partially inebriated deck out their rides, horses, wagons and relatives in epic fashion. View the event online at and the city’s social media sites including the following Facebook pages (you can quit FB after the 4th): City of Scotts Valley 4th of July, the Scotts Valley Chamber and the Press Banner. The parade will be archived for on-demand viewing throughout the entire month of July! Be sure to step outside on the 4th to watch the flyover in town from 2-3pm.


Boulder Creek: The Boulder Creek Business Association has wrested the town’s plans to celebrate the 4th from the grips of the virus, and is planning to stream the Virtual 4th of July Parade and Concert on their Facebook page beginning at 10am. Contributors were asked to submit videos that panned from left to right as they will be set to a pre-planned soundtrack of spirit. Entertainment will also include music by Mira Goto, The Four Stringers, Brad Martin, Aki Kumar Band, Wildcat Mountain Ramblers and Chas Crowder. And as for a tradition that dates over 100 years? BCBA President Justin Acton is hoping to create some memories. “Our town has been doing this for so long, and I’m inspired that some important dignitaries have submitted videos, pictures and messages for our residents. We’ll have the Boulder Creek Museum submitting some great historical information, our world-famous Jazzercise dancers have a great routine planned, and the whole event will be hosted by KBCZ’s station manager Tina Davey. “The 4th of July is always such a huge community event in town—I’m looking forward to seeing how we capture that spirit.”



Other parades and events such as the World’s Shortest Parade in Aptos, the fireworks over Skypark and the pancake breakfasts hosted by Boulder Creek Fire and Ben Lomond Fire have all been scuttled by the virus. The pancake breakfasts are not only community events, but also fundraisers for the volunteer departments, and these cancellations negatively impact their bottom line.


If you’d like to show your support, donations for the Boulder Creek Fire Department can be sent to 13230 Central Avenue, Boulder Creek, 95006. To help fill Ben Lomond’s coffers, donations can be mailed to 9430 Highway 9, Ben Lomond, 95005.


Keep your mask on and your sparklers away from the cats, and we will see you online.


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