For the first time in over 100 years, Montclair’s annual 4th of July Celebration has been cancelled. All planned public activities related to the holiday are part of the cancellation, including the parade and the community picnic at Edgemont Park. With restrictions on large public gatherings in response to the COVID-19 pandemic still in place, and after consultation with the Township Manager, the Montclair Celebrates committee that organizes the festivities, decided to cancel the events. This year’s Grand Marshal, Dan Gill, a teacher at Glenfield Middle School for 50 years, will be honored at next year’s parade.
“We are deeply disappointed that we must cancel the July 4th celebrations, but in the interest of public safety and to protect the health and wellness of the parade participants, we made the decision to call off the events” said Donnie DiGeronimo, spokesperson for the Montclair Celebrates July 4th Committee. “Next year, we will continue the tradition with renewed spirit and celebrate with the Montclair community.”
According to Governor Murphy’s multi-stage approach to lift restrictions on large public gatherings in light of challenges related to COVID-19, New Jersey is in Stage 1, with some low-risk activities allowed with appropriate safeguards. A parade and a community picnic that typically draws thousands of participants from around the region do not match the criteria for Stage 1 activities. There is no timeline in place for the restoration of large public gatherings.
The volunteer committee is working on plans to recognize the holiday through a virtual presentation.
Cedar Grove is having their fireworks this year, but it will be different, per the organizers:
“Fireworks will be shot off from LRP/Panther Park like years prior, but we will do things a little differently. There will be no one permitted on the turf field. The Panther Park parking lot, both sides of Bradford Avenue street parking, Municipal Building parking lot and the O’Toole Community Center parking lot will be available for parking. We ask that you do not get out of your cars to congregate. Other parking lots in town such as CVS and St. Catherine’s have a good view as well, but you must get permission to park at those facilities on your own. If you can see the display from your yard/house, we encourage that you stay home and watch. The fireworks display will also be live-streamed on the Cedar Grove Recreation Facebook page.”