WATERTOWN — The Fourth of July Concert in the Park is among some of the city’s most popular and attended events that are being canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Erin E. Gardner, the city’s parks and recreation superintendent, said she got a call from the Orchestra of Northern New York on Friday morning about the July Fourth celebration that’s held in Thompson Park.
With between 7,000 and 8,000 people attending the event every year, it’s not known whether the pandemic will be over in July, she said.
“It just makes sense,” she said.
The orchestra’s board unanimously agreed to cancel all of the Orchestra of Northern New York’s summer concert series, she said.
The city’s block parties scheduled for June and July and the Dairy Parade have also been canceled because of the virus.
“The Dairy Parade will have to wait until next year,” said Jay Matteson, Jefferson County Agriculture Coordinator. “It makes me feel horrible.”
He said he couldn’t justify planning the parade when he’s focused so much on helping dairy and livestock farms that are trying to get through the financial crisis caused by the pandemic.
The Watertown Local Development Corp., also known as the Watertown Trust, holds three block parties on the north side of Public Square during the summer.
But the June and July parties will not go on, said former City Councilman Cody J. Horbacz, who helps organize the events. The August block party might still be held, depending on what happens with the state’s directives for large gatherings.
He said the planning, obtaining corporate sponsors and other work can’t be done without knowing whether the pandemic will continue into the summer months.
“Right now, it’s too difficult to plan,” he said.
The fate of the Armed Forces Parade will be known on Tuesday when organizers meet to discuss whether it should be held this year.