By SARAH SHMERLING | Editor-in-Chief
In a recent letter addressed to the community, Palisades Americanism Parade Association President Matthew Rodman reported that the organization is planning a Fourth of July parade and fireworks show for 2021—subject to approval from state and government agencies.
“On behalf of the Palisades Americanism Parade Association board, I am excited to announce that we’re planning for a July 4th Hometown Parade and Fireworks Show,” Rodman wrote. “Subject to approvals from state and local governmental agencies, we hope to bring you the ‘Best Day in the Palisades’ once again this year.”
At the start of May 2020, in-person activities, including the Palisades Will Rogers 5 & 10K, the 72nd annual Palisades Parade, and Palisades Rocks the Fourth concert and fireworks, were canceled that summer due to COVID-19.
Rodman shared that in 2021, a “scaled-back” parade would feature mostly local entries, “cherished favorites” and acknowledgments of Palisades service organizations. Following the parade, PAPA is aiming to present its annual fireworks show—ideally at Palisades Charter High School.
“Consistent with health and safety protocols, we’ll do this all in an environment that promotes social distancing and face masks for all spectators,” Rodman added in the letter.
Members of PAPA had attended a March 10 Pacific Palisades Recreation Center Park Advisory Board meeting to gauge how the board would respond if the organization requested to use Palisades Recreation Center as an alternate location for the Fourth of July fireworks show this year.
“Our first choice, our second choice, our third choice is to do it at Pali High,” PAPA Advisor Robert Weber said during the meeting. “We want to do it at Pali High, we don’t want to have to move. But if they county and the city and the state say it’s OK to have fireworks and for whatever reason the LAUSD is dragging feet, we’re just looking for a fallback possibility location right now.”
Rodman confirmed on April 17 in an email to the Palisadian-Post that it remains PAPA’s hope to have the fireworks at Pali High.
“It’s our first and best choice,” he wrote, “but contingent upon approval of a variety of governmental agencies.”
PAPA received support from the park advisory board during the meeting, but ultimately, final approval, if the organization chooses to pursue having the fireworks at the rec center, would have to come from the city’s Department of Recreation and Parks.
The Palisades Will Rogers 5K & 10K run “continues to explore the possibility of hosting the 44th annual run,” according to Rodman’s letter.
Race Director and Founder Brian Shea shared that in a survey that went out to the community, there was an “overwhelming” response to have the race return. Shea explained that at this point, it’s up to Councilmember Mike Bonin’s office to issue necessary permits for the race, as well as the rest of the Fourth of July activities.
In 2020, due to COVID-19 restrictions, PAPA presented the annual Palisades Rocks the Fourth show as a virtual concert, which was live-streamed for free across social media platforms—allowing viewers to enjoy music from afar as Safer at Home orders were in place.
Palisadians Keith Turner and Weber, with the assistance of Adam Topol and Tom Freund, and editor Joshua Cutsinger, produced the show, which was emceed by Palisadian and stadium voice for the Los Angeles Rams Sam Laganà.
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