Bay Area celebrating Fourth of July at a safe social distance
OAKLAND, Calif. - Fourth of July fireworks shows in the Bay area shows have been canceled, as well as parades, to prevent group gatherings during the coronavirus pandemic.
Many cities are finding creative ways, thought to bring the community together.
The City of Concord will live-stream a celebration Saturday for the Fourth of July on Concord TV and the city's social media pages. Officials asked residents to film videos of themselves this year for a virtual parade and concert online..
"It kind of comes back to community and I think everyone is yearning for community right now," said Concord Mayor Tim McGallian.
At Pleasant Hill city hall, a sign reminds people to celebrate the 4th in place at home. Even without fireworks, all eyes still will be on the skies for a different kind of aerial show.
"Hired a plane to fly around the skies of Pleasant Hill with a big banner behind it saying Happy Fourth of July Pleasant Hill," said Chris Tipton, President of the Pleasant Hill Fourth of July Commission.
Homes are dressed up in red white and blue for a decorating contest.
"We were so excited we just wanted to show our patriotism," said Tim Fitzsimmons of Pleasant HIll, whose yard was adorned with festive flags.
Instead of people going to downtown Pleasant Hill for the annual parade, the parade will come to them.
"Want everyone to head outside at 10 a.m. make some noise, scream, shout, wave to your neighbors. Hopefully a parade will come by your house that's when the parade starts. And look to the skies. Wave to the plane. Take some photos," said Tipton.
Fremont is holding a Fourth of July Porch Parade. Residents who decorate their homes in red, white and blue will have a chance to win prizes as people drive by and vote on the winners.
"I emailed all the neighbors and said let's do it. And we decided to do it," said one resident named Dora, who partnered with neighbors on Gallegos Avenue to decorate their homes.
"In the social distancing, I think this is the best way to celebrate July Fourth. if you can't do a parade on the road, do it on your porch so it's a good idea," said Ankit Arora of Fremont.
Some are also finding ways to feed the soul during these times of social distancing.
At the Morris Restaurant in San Francisco, Chef Gavin Schmidt devised a pre-order picnic or take-home barbecue kit for the Fourth of July, with baby back ribs, brisket, links, and sides of cole slaw and potato salad.
"Especially right now during this crisis, we really don't want to be going out as much as possible stay home so we decided we'd create these barbecue kits," said Paul Eindbund, owner of The Morris Restaurant, "Anything you can think of to make home a little more special right now."
Many people say they are starting new traditions that might continue even after the pandemic restrictions are lifted.