National Park Service: No Independence Day Parade on National Mall in 2021

The National Park Service has announced that it will skip this year’s Independence Day Parade on the National Mall, citing logistics and planning limitations.

The park service said there simply isn’t enough time to organize the massive celebration of the country’s founding.

“The National Park Service and our partner, Diversified Events — who puts on the National Independence Day Parade with us every year — have come to the reluctant but necessary conclusion that we’ll have to cancel this year’s parade,” National Park Service spokesperson Mike Litterst told WTOP.

The marching bands, drill teams and other youth organizations that participate in the event usually prepare anywhere from eight to 18 months in advance of parade day, according to the park service, and many have not had the opportunity to do so. Others still are unable to travel due to COVID-19 concerns and restrictions.

“Unfortunately, without the military bands and the drill teams and the other youth organizations that are the backbone of the parade, we’ve decided to cancel this year’s parade and focus on next year’s already,” Litterst said.

There are currently no plans to deliver a parade in a virtual format, according to Litterst.

“We share everyone’s disappointment in this decision and look forward to presenting this red, white and blue celebration of America’s birthday again on July 4, 2022,” the National Park Service said in a statement.

WTOP’s Michelle Basch contributed to this report. 

Zeke Hartner

Zeke Hartner is a digital writer/editor who has been with WTOP since 2017. He is a graduate of North Carolina State University’s Political Science program and an avid news junkie.

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