The annual Fourth of July celebration that has been taking place in Rancho Palos Verdes for more than four decades and attracted thousands yearly was cancelled due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, but city leaders voted to keep some of the festivities going at its June 16 meeting.
American flags will be displayed city wide, it was voted unanimously by the city council, while the councilmembers will also record a PSA that will be aired on RPVtv for the holiday.
Council discussed other events — a car parade, a picnic in the park and a drive-in movie at Point Vicente Park/Civic Center—but decided those were challenging to enforce social distancing or would take too much planning.
“I think we are going to spend more time and effort on this for a very small event,” said Councilmember David Bradley about the drive-in movie option, which would to have been restricted to 40 vehicles.
According to Cory Linder, Recreation and Parks director, the drive-in movie option would have featured a family-friendly movie concluding with a recorded fireworks display, food delivery services directly to cars and “goodie bags” for children. Pre-registration would have been required.
According to the city, more than 1,800 flags of different sizes will be installed throughout the city.
Forty-four flags on 16-feet-tall poles will be installed at the city’s six boundary signs, as well as the intersections of Hawthorne Boulevard and Palos Verdes Drive West; Hawthorne Boulevard and Granvia Altamira/Ridgegate Drive; Hawthorne Boulevard and Grayslake Road/Highridge Road: and Western Avenue and Toscanini Drive.
There will also be 1,776 smaller flags that will line the sidelong along Hawthorne Boulevard at Hesse Park, Ryan Park and City Hall.
Linder said the parade would have featured city council members along with other officials including law enforcement and fire department.
The Patriotic Picnic in the Park, which Linder said would not be sponsored by the city, would have provided designated areas, marked by circles, to provide social distancing.
According to the city staff report, the city also explored the option of an off-shore fireworks display.
“However, due to the time constraints, staging such an event would have proven to be challenging,” the staff report reads. “Additionally, it did not appear that the State and County would issue the City the permits required to conduct a fireworks display due to the current stay-at-home orders.”