Home Brentwood Brentwood City Council Set to Decide Fate of July 4 Parade

Brentwood City Council Set to Decide Fate of July 4 Parade

by ECT

On Tuesday, the Brentwood City Council could decide the fate of a 4th of July parade or alternate event as the council will review parade options presented by staff.

The review comes after the City Council put the brakes on the parade due to COVID-19 concerns during a nearly 2-hour discussion and requested staff work out more details and alternatives—this came after the city staff announced via press release that they were having a parade.

Reported last week, the Contra Costa Health Services dashboard, Brentwood has 47-active cases in the past 14-days which is an average of 3.3 cases per day. As of data Sunday, Brentwood is showing 42-active cases which is an average of 3 cases per day.

In the past, the council has not interjected on the Hometown Halloween or Holiday Parade decisions.

According to Mulder, five cities including Brentwood in Contra Costa County are moving forward with events—Antioch, Orinda, Pleasant Hill and San Ramon. He said 9 cities cancelling their events while Concord will have a modified drive-in for fireworks.

Last week, Councilwoman Karen Rarey stated they should just put the parade on hold for a year.

“My concern here is we are just getting out of this. I don’t understand why we can’t wait an entire year to let us get through this. We are going to have two other parades this year if it all goes right,” stated Rarey. “We have homecoming coming up and we have the holiday parade. So we do have two parades so the community can come out. Just give us some time to really get over this and get more people vaccinated and really make sure we are not going to shut our community down again and close down businesses.”

Councilwoman Jovita Mendoza suggested they host a “reverse parade” where participants are stationary and attendees drive their vehicles and pass by each station. She was not in favor of a parade over health and safety concerns.

“I like the idea of a reverse parade,” said Mendoza who explained residents would drive in the car and the floats are on the side.

Councilwoman Susannah Meyer was hesitant of the parade in its current form and suggested it was not a good idea but with a few tweaks it could work. She urged the council to wait and see what staff could come up with before making a decision. She did say she didn’t want to get rid of a parade/event.

Meanwhile, Vice Mayor Johnny Rodriquez compared the farmers market each week to a parade and the amount of people is no different. He was in favor of the parade.

Mayor Joel Bryant was also in favor of the parade.

“Those that absolutely do not feel comfortable with this absolutely have the free will not to participate in this and would highly recommend anyone not comfortable participating in this to not do so,” said Bryant. “I firmly believe our staff has the ability to keep this safe as possible. Mitigating risk is our individual responsibilities. Everyone of us face risks we can mitigate and some that we can’t every single day of our lives so I believe in the process of this we can accomplish this parade in a fashion that can be as safe as possible and align with the orders by the county and the recommendation of the CDC.”

Bryant called this the 4th of July and the celebration of freedom from tyranny and just Monday they celebrated the veterans on Memorial Day.

“I think this has a significance that other parades may not have,” stated Bryant. “We do this to honor those that have brought those liberties to us and we can find a way to do it safely… I am confident we can do something for our community.”

City Staff will present the following options to the city council:

Traditional Parade with Extended Route and Reservable Viewing Areas

Viewing areas will be located along the parade route, with one staff/volunteer assigned for check in and additional staff to manage crowd control and face masks. Viewing areas will be enclosed with caution tape and only those preregistered will be given access to the viewing area. Late registration may be possible, if capacity remains. Each group will have a specific marked area within the viewing areas. Groups will be more than 6 feet apart.

Capacity will be limited, and registrants must indicate the number of people in their party during the registration process. Registrants will be given instructions for check in upon completion of the registration process. Reminders will be sent to all registrants the day before the event including information regarding distancing, masks, and overall parade rules. All attendees must be in a viewing area, and business patrons will be assisted through the secured areas by staff/volunteers. Viewing area capacity varies dependent on route. On average, a viewing area can safely fit seventy people (ten groups of seven people).Parade participants will not be allowed to distribute any items to the parade attendees.

Route Option 1 – Maple Extension (Exhibit B)

Considerations:

  • Sixteen viewing areas
  • Sidewalks are wider and diagonal parking spots allow for more registrants per viewing area (approximately 1,120 total capacity)
  • Low impact to neighborhood residents
  • Traffic Engineer is concerned about the traffic impacts caused by a closure at First & Oak. This closure has been used in the past but would prefer a revised route that does not require this closure. It is manageable, but not preferred

 

Route Option 2 –Chestnut Extension (Exhibit C)

Considerations:

  • Seventeen viewing areas
  • Sidewalks are more narrow in residential areas thus allowing for fewer registrants per viewing area (approximately 1,020 total capacity)
  • Higher impact on neighborhood residents
  • DBC prefers a route with more foot traffic in the Downtown business area

 

Route Option 3 – Fir Extension (Exhibit D)

Considerations:

  • Seventeen viewing areas (approximately 1,190 capacity)
  • Low impact to neighborhood residents
  • Traffic Engineer is concerned about the traffic impacts caused by a closure at First & Oak. This closure has been used in the past but would prefer a revised route that does not require this closure. It is manageable, but not preferred
  1. Reverse Parade

Families will preregister for a timeslot to drive through the parade route and view stationary floats/participants. Participants will not be allowed to distribute any items to the parade attendees. Staff have determined that thirty cars will be assigned per each twenty-minute timeslot. This is less cars than the previous reverse parade (Hometown Halloween) to allow cars to stop and view performances along the route

Considerations:

  • Timeframe –9:30am-1:30pm or 4:00pm-8:00pm – four hours would allow for 360 cars
  • Floats/participants would need to be present for at least 4.5 hours
  • DBC does not support this type of parade as it requires street closures but does not increase foot traffic. Staff concerned about securing enough parade participants

FISCAL IMPACT

The approved 2020/21 General Fund Operating Budget includes sufficient Special Events supply funds for this event. The remaining budget available as of June 3, 2021 is $17,363.54. Even with increased staffing, no further funds will be required as the approved 2021/22 General Fund Operating Budget includes sufficient Special Events personnel funds for this event.

 

Council Meeting

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2 comments

Paul f Hernandez Jun 10, 2021 - 10:18 pm

omg covid is over on the 15th , city counsel could you be any dumber

Reply
Paul f Hernandez Jun 10, 2021 - 10:32 pm

Vice Mayor Johnny Rodriquez compared the farmers market each week to a parade and the amount of people is no different. He was in favor of the parade

Reply

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