Coronavirus dealt yet another blow to beloved valley events when on May 27 the Victor City Council decided to call off the city’s 4th of July festivities.
Every year Victor hosts a big 4th of July celebration that includes a fun run, a flag ceremony, breakfast and lunch in the park, a craft fair, and a parade that draws spectators from around the region. City administrator Olivia Goodale predicted historic turnout for the event, because Independence Day falls on a Saturday this year and because other cities in eastern Idaho have canceled their parades, but she noted that if the community experiences a resurgence of COVID, the economic boon of 4th of July would be negated by the health risks to the citizens of Teton Valley.
Councilwoman Stacy Hulsing, who manages the West Side Yard, acknowledged that the 4th is usually a big day for local businesses and marks the beginning of the busy season. But, she said, if one busy day led to more closures through the year, it wasn’t worth the risk.
“I’m not a gambler, but I don’t think that one day is worth a trade-off for the rest of summer,” she said.
Goodale added that trying to limit the size of the festival crowd is logistically impossible for the city’s small crew of staff and volunteers. The council members batted around some ideas to replace the parade but couldn’t figure out any way for the city to host a large celebration.
“The 4th of July is not canceled,” Councilwoman Emily Sustick said. “People can still honor the day in ways they would like to from their own homes.”
Mayor Will Frohlich agreed.
“I think it’s important to remember we’re not sacrificing our celebration, we’re just sacrificing the mass event in one location. The celebration will just look a little different this year,” he said.
With subdued voices, the four council members voted unanimously to cancel Victor’s festivities.
Some community members took to Facebook to applaud or denigrate the cancellation, but Goodale said on Monday that no one actually contacted the council or city staff about the decision.