Alas, No Parade, No Will Rogers Run and No Fireworks This Fourth of July

Skydivers generally kick off the Palisades Fourth of July Parade, but this year there will be no parade.  Photo: Tom Hofer


For the first time in 72 years, the Pacific Palisades Fourth of July Parade will not be held this year, and for the first time 43 years, the Will Rogers 5/10K Run will not be held. The concert and fireworks show at Palisades High School has also been cancelled.

This discouraging, but not unexpected news was announced today by Palisades Americanism Parade Association President Matt Rodman and Will Rogers Fourth of July Race Director Brian Shea at a Zoom meeting.

Rodman and Shea said that the City of Los Angeles will not issue the needed permits to hold these traditional events because of Covid-19 and the need for social distancing–an impossibility given that thousands of people gather here as runners and as spectators every July 4th. (See letter below).

If residents have ideas about ways that the Fourth can still be safely celebrated by the town, please go to and/or and we’ll be happy to print the ideas.


Annually, nearly 3,000 runners/walkers participate in the Will Roger 5/10K race. The event is cancelled this year.
Photo: Shelby Pascoe

Dear Fellow Palisadians,

For longer than we care to admit, we’ve eagerly anticipated each Palisades 4th of July celebration with the 5K/10K Run, Parade, Concert & Fireworks. In recent years, we’ve both had the pleasure of leading dedicated community members and organizations to produce the day’s celebrations. This is a volunteer-led effort by your neighbors, many of whom have been involved for decades.

The 4th of July is our community’s biggest day of the year, bringing together long-standing neighbors and recent arrivals to celebrate the independence of our nation. Kids, both young and young at heart, arrive early in the morning to jockey for a good spot at the 5K/10K, then set up their chairs along the parade route, and finally enjoy dinner on the baseball field in advance of the concert and fireworks.

This year, it’s with great disappointment that we must report to you that for the first time since the founding of the Parade seventy-two years ago by the Pacific Palisades American Legion Post 283, and since the beginning of the 5K/10K Run forty-three years ago, we must cancel the Run, Parade, Concert and Fireworks. The health and safety of our community is paramount, and the limits on large social gatherings necessitates this difficult decision. While we’ll have many more Independence Days to celebrate, today we must all do our part to safeguard the health of our community.

Now, the good news. We’ll continue to organize the Patriotic Home Decorating Contest and will mail to every household our Official 4th of July Program containing great articles and photos. On July 4th, we’ll welcome a squadron of WWII fighter planes for a community-wide flyover at 2 p.m., which you can and should view from your home. We’re hoping that you’ll celebrate with us, albeit in a different way in 2020.

Stay tuned for more information and check our website regularly. If you wish to make a tax- deductible contribution to help with this year’s program, please go to

On behalf of the Palisades Americanism Parade Association and the Palisades-Will Rogers 5K/10K Run Foundation, we wish you and your family the very best. Palisadians have a history of sticking together, helping our neighbors, and always persevering. This year let’s redouble our efforts to support each other.

–     Matthew Rodman, Parade (PAPA) President 2018-2020

–     Brian Shea, Will Rogers 5/10K Race President 1977-2020


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