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Wheels in motion for one 4th of July parade that won’t be parked by the virus

Montecito 4th of July route
This year there will be a Montecito 4th of July car parade over several streets due to the COVID-19 concerns about having a walking parade.

MONTECITO, Calif. - The Montecito 4th of July parade festivities are not going to be stopped by the coronavirus.

Organizers have made changes, broadened the route and are ready to roll.

It will be a car parade known as the Village 4th Road Show. It will travel throughout the Montecito community starting at 11:30 a.m. Saturday morning.

The normal 4th of July parade is a tiny route, mostly on foot from Upper Manning Park to Lower Manning Park on San Ysidro Rd.

Kathi King with the Montecito Association said the annual event,   "is generally the world's tiniest parade."

This year, the route will go for several miles and include Mountain Drive, Ashley Rd., Channel Drive, Coast Village Rd. and San Ysidro along with many other streets. It will be all vehicles and no marching entries.

At this year's event "we have a lot of first responders in the parade,  we have a lot of fun old vehicles," said King.


The organizers have a map  of the route on their social media, web site and on windows around the area.

It's just enough to give the residents and business owners a good feel about the holiday,  even with  the COVID-19 rules.

"We have kind of long route snaking throughout Montecito so if you are down by the Biltmore it will go by there if you are on Coast Village,  if you are walking out on Olive Mill road,  there are a lot of opportunities to pop out and see it go by," said King. "It's not about connecting completely in person, it is about acknowledging the 4th of July and the celebration we usually have."     

The California Highway Patrol, Santa Barbara County Sheriff, and Montecito Fire trucks will be participants and escorts at the same time.

"It will be short enough to be reasonable and long enough to enjoy all the variety," said King."There are lots of opportunities to see it without congregating too closely."
They are encouraging anyone out to see the event to wear a mask and keep a six-foot distance for health and safety reasons.

Organizers are encouraging physical distancing for anyone who is stopping to view, or participating. Masks are encouraged as a health and safety protocol.

All other 4th of July events in the area have been canceled including the fireworks show at West Beach in Santa Barbara, the downtown Santa Barbara parade, the Carpinteria Independence Day Parade, Rods and Roses, the All-American Patriotic West Beach 4th of July show and the Goleta Fireworks show.

The event is being coordinated by the Montecito Association.

The parade will start and end at the Montecito Union School.

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John Palminteri

John Palminteri is senior reporter for KEYT NewsChannel 3 and KCOY 12 Central Coast News.

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