Popular Danville 4th of July parade plans to go virtual in 2020

File Photo. July 4, 2019. KTVU's Cristina Rendon via Twitter, "Good morning from Danville! The 4th of July parade starts at 9:00 a.m. through downtown. Here’s a peek at what’s in store." Cristina Rendon/KTVU.

The 2020 Danville Fourth of July Parade, a Contra Costa County institution for more than 60 years that draws more than 30,000 people to the streets of this small town, is going "virtual" this year in deference to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

Kiwanis Club of San Ramon Valley, the parade's organizer, is calling for film clips or photos they would like to be included in a live streamed parade broadcast set for 10 a.m. July 4. There also likely will be some live interviews and cameo appearances scheduled for that day to accompany the submissions.

The Kiwanis Club has set a goal to reach at least 40,000 spectators of its virtual parade.

It represents a dramatic departure from years past, when spectators would start staking their claims to prime viewing spots days before the parade. The town had been cracking down on the practice in recent years, not allowing personal property to be left roadside until 6 p.m. July 3.

A typical Danville parade in recent years included about 125 entrants, ranging from military veteran groups, first responders, marching bands, antique tractors, floats organized by local businesses and churches, various local rock bands, Scout troops and others.

Many East Bay cities have cancelled Fourth of July parades and celebrations because of the coronavirus-related shelter-in-place orders and rules against public gatherings. Orinda, which hosts one of Contra Costa County's largest holiday parades, has canceled the parade and surrounding activities this year, citing the coronavirus.

Pleasant Hill, which hosts a large parade on Independence Day, has canceled that event and its post-parade celebration due to the coronavirus.  El Cerrito has canceled its July 4 celebration, a victim of both the COVID-19 pandemic and the city's budget problems.

Antioch, Martinez, Piedmont, Vallejo and Novato, among other cities, have also canceled Independence Day celebrations over coronavirus-related restrictions.

For more information about sponsorship or participation in the Danville event, visit their website.