For the second year straight, the La Cañada Flintridge Chamber of Commerce will cancel its annual Fiesta Days celebration held over Memorial Day weekend due to the coronavirus pandemic and resulting restrictions set by the L.A. County Department of Public Health.
However, in lieu of the time-honored festival — a tradition since 1974 — the Chamber will plan a parade for Monday, July 5, pending improving coronavirus case numbers throughout the County.
“The decision to cancel Fiesta Days last year, and now, this year, was really taken out of our hands by the Department of County Health — all we could do was try to adhere to the orders,” said LCF Chamber of Commerce President Pat Anderson. “However, with the improving metrics, it seemed possible that we could at least hold a parade, and that seemed like something positive and hopeful to shoot for.”
While it was disappointing to cancel what would have marked the 47th annual citywide tradition, Anderson said, the Chamber’s Board of Directors reluctantly recognized that the County’s health restrictions for gatherings of large groups of people just could not accommodate the traditional Fiesta Days activities. Typically, those events span an entire weekend and include a casino night, French toast breakfast, car show, farmer’s market, outdoor movie night, barbecue, memorial service, a parade and a fireworks display.
Complicating matters, most of the Chamber’s fundraising events for the celebration occur during February, which this year, also had to be put on hold due to the pandemic, Anderson added.
But a parade on July 5 seemed like a fun and practical substitute, she explained. The theme was decided at a recent chamber planning meeting: Dare Mighty Things. The parade’s grand marshall has been slotted to be NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, located in LCF, in recognition of its historic mission to Mars earlier this year.
While many details remain to be sorted out, Anderson has taken heart in the chamber’s first in-person planning meeting for the parade, which “was well attended and had lots of energy and excitement.”
The chamber has also suddenly been busy receiving phones calls from residents and businesses, she added: “Which is a good thing; that is what we are here for … it’s like people are just coming out of hibernation.”
Applications to participate in the July 5 Hometown Parade are available now through the LCF Chamber of Commerce and the deadline to apply is May 10. For more information, visit the chamber’s website at lacanadaflintridge.com.