Mount Shasta's Fourth of July celebration: is it happening this year?

Skye Kinkade
Mount Shasta Herald
Runners on Pine Street during Mount Shasta's annual Fourth of July Walk/Run in 2015. The event attracts thousands of people to Mount Shasta every year to celebrate the nation's birthday.

For the second year in a row, the Mount Shasta Fourth of July Walk/Run has been canceled by COVID-19 and will instead be held virtually, organizers announced today.

"We feel torn," said Siskiyou Outdoor Recreation Alliance executive director Justi Hanson, who coordinates the race. "We know this is a sacred event that pulls the community together ... but we know (a virtual race) is the right choice."

The Mount Shasta Chamber of Commerce is moving forward with plans for a street fair July 1-4 with vendors and live music, said director Kaila Burns, as well as the traditional parade on the afternoon of July 4 on Mt. Shasta Boulevard.

"But it really all depends on whether or not the county will issue us permits for the food vendors and the beer," Burns said.

The popular Fourth of July Run/Walk was founded in 1980 by the late Dr. Jim Parker and has been a Mount Shasta Fourth of July staple ever since, attracting thousands of people to celebrate the nation's birthday in the shadow of Mt. Shasta.

More:Will there be a Fourth of July fireworks show in Mount Shasta in 2021?

More:COVID-19 in Mount Shasta: What a difference a year makes

Hanson said although the vaccine rollout has gained momentum, and it's looking promising to hold large outdoor public events this summer, Mountain Runners has concluded that they don't have the capacity to monitor social distancing requirements at an event that attracts up to 4,000 people.

She added the group not in the position to risk losing non-refundable planning and logistics expenses in the event of a last-minute cancelation due to COVID-19 restrictions.

"We know it is a big loss for the whole community, so we're disappointed," Hanson said. 

The annual fireworks show, which takes place on the evening of July 4 each year in Mount Shasta will most likely still happen this year, but in a different location: at Shastice Park. The event is contingent on COVID-19 guidelines at the time, and the complicated logistics of moving the show from Lake Siskiyou to within city limits, said Mt. Shasta Community Fireworks president Tom Haistings.

Fundraising for the fireworks show is happening now; the group hopes to raise $30,000.

The 2021 Mount Shasta Fourth of July Walk/Run will be held virtually and people can participate inside their homes or outside from anywhere in the world. Registration details are yet to come, as well as information about this year's wildflower t-shirt and raffles, Hanson said.

Skye Kinkade is the editor of the Mt. Shasta Area Newspapers and the Siskiyou Daily News. She is a fourth generation Siskiyou County resident and has lived in Mount Shasta and Weed her entire life.