4th of July parade canceled, fireworks to go on

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The annual Fourth of July parade in Uptown Roxboro has been canceled, the City of Roxboro and Uptown Roxboro Group announced Thursday.

The decision comes a day after Governor Roy Cooper signed Executive Order 147 which extends the state’s second phase of reopening until July 17. That includes a ban on gatherings of more than 25 outdoors.

“Due to the location of the annual Fourth of July Parade, it was decided there was no way to ensure proper social distancing can be maintained while also allowing for an enjoyable view of the parade route,” the city’s statement reads. “As such, the unfortunate decision was made to cancel the event.”

In a similar release, Uptown Roxboro Group said that while it may be possible to consider other locations, there is not sufficient time to restructure the event and organize volunteers, barricades, insurance and other necessities for an alternative, extended parade route.

As the event includes vehicles that are not licensed to operate on a road that isn’t closed for a special event, the route could not be changed without excluding participants or creating an unlawful and unsafe situation.

“This is not the outcome we hoped for, but it is the reality we face,” URG’s statement reads. “We thank you for your continued support of our organization and Uptown Roxboro.”

The city’s annual fireworks show will continue as planned with fireworks beginning at dark, approximately 9 p.m. The stadium at Person High School will be closed to the public.

The city encouraged observers to make viewing arrangements early to avoid crowds as “the need for space for all is greater than ever.”

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