East Lansdowne holds one of the few 4th of July parades amid COVID-19

LANDSDOWNE, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- With parades, festivals and fireworks show canceled in and around Philadelphia this year, East Lansdowne, Delaware County is one of the few places that still held a Fourth of July parade.

"We have to, it's the birth of our nation, we have to keep the normality going because the people have been locked in so long and this just gives them a chance to get out a little bit," said East Lansdowne Mayor John Dukes.

As East Lansdowne residents celebrated during their 105th parade tradition with kids on bikes, live music, first responders, and of course, the festive red white and blue outfits, neighbors say they're glad the pandemic didn't ruin all the fun in 2020.

"I grew up here so it's nice to be able to share this with the next generation of my kids," said Brian Mengini of East Lansdowne.

Mayor Dukes said they implemented some new guidelines to keep everyone safe.

"This year it's going to be a short parade so we can get through the town and let everybody know we're still out here, we're working for them and if it gives them just a little bit of hope to know to get through these tough times, that's what we're here for," said Dukes.

Officials and attendees said they are not worried the coronavirus will spread by holding the parade, as attendees wore masks and social distanced.

"I think a lot of the older people in the neighborhood enjoy it and some of them live so close that they can just sit on their lawns and watch it," said Barbara Griffin Monroe.

"I feel like it still gives us a sense of hope that we're able to come together as a community," said Brielle Glinton of East Lansdowne.

But throughout the area, the pandemic is still raging on and many stayed shuttered in their homes. Parade attendees say they could feel the difference this holiday.

"It's different because not many people are going to be here," said Sonia Berry of East Lansdowne. "We're not going to eat and drink our hamburgers and hot dogs."
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