Mammoth Cancels July Fourth Festivities Over Covid-19 Worries

Times Staff Report
Staff Writer

Mammoth and Mono County officials announced this week that many of the area's main July 4 festivities will be cancelled this year in light of the ongoing Covid-19 threat, including the Mammoth parade, the Fireworks at Crowley Lake, the Footloose Freedom Mile and more.

The news came as the state of California remains under a state-mandated ‘Stay at Home’ order from Gov. Gavin Newsom, with no clear signs of the timing of when the order could be lifted.

The uncertainty is one of the main driving factors for cancelling the events, as critical as they have been to the county’s economy, said members of the Mono County and Town of Mammoth emergency response team, who have been working to both deal with the medical situation in the county and chart a path forward toward some semblance of ‘normal’ if the threat of the virus recedes.

“Due to the timing uncertainty for the modification or lifting of the Governor’s unprecedented Stay At Home Order, along with the state’s subsequent mitigation measures for special events, the Town of Mammoth Lakes and the Mammoth Lakes Chamber of Commerce have made the difficult decision to cancel this year’s Fourth of July festivities,” said Stu Brown, the public information officer for the Incident Command team running the response.

“Cancelled July 4 festivities in the Mammoth Lakes area for 2020 currently include the Annual Mammoth Lakes Fourth of July Parade, Footloose Freedom Mile, POPS in the Park, Independence Days at the Hayden Cabin, Mono Arts Council: Mammoth Celebrates the Arts, and the Fireworks Spectacular at Crowley Lake.

“This is a very serious situation and now, more than ever, we must be vigilant about following guidance and directives in order to flatten the curve and to decrease the strain on our local health care system,” he said. “Physical distancing and other mitigations must continue even after the Stay At Home Order is lifted. We are experiencing some respite, but we are clearly not out of the woods yet. You may say we have a bit of a cease fire, but the war is not over,” stated Mono County Health Officer Dr. Boo.

“The Town of Mammoth Lakes would like to recognize and acknowledge the many long-standing partners, supporters and sponsors of the annual Fourth of July Fireworks Spectacular at Crowley Lake,” Brown said. “Cancelling this generational event was an extremely difficult decision, but in our current environment of uncertainty, safety is our top priority. Next year will be bigger and better thanks to the Crowley Lake Fish Camp, L.D.C., Mono County Community Services Area 1, Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, and Pyro Spectaculars by Souza.”

“While we know the Fourth of July festivities are always a favorite for tens of thousands of our loyal Mammoth Lakes’ visitors, we appreciate the need to focus on health and safety,” said John Urdi, Mammoth Lakes Tourism Executive Director.

This decision does not come lightly to any of the partnering entities. These measures are being taken to ensure the health and well-being of all Mono County residents and our many loyal visitors, Brown said.

He said the Mammoth Lakes Chamber of Commerce is “aware of the fiscal impacts this will have on the business community and has already begun, in partnership with the Town of Mammoth Lakes and Mammoth Lakes Tourism, working toward an alternative for the business community, locals, and visitors to celebrate our national holiday in a safe and responsible manner.”

It was unclear what that alternative might be, at press time.