WALLOWA — There will be no Independence Day parade in Wallowa this year, after the Wallowa City Council met Tuesday, June 16, and voted to deny any permit requests connected with the event.
“Let’s just cancel it this year and then have an extra big parade next year,” Mayor Gary Hulse said to the council.
The move came on the heels of a major outbreak of COVID-19 in nearby Union County where many parade-goers could come from. La Grande is 46 miles — less than an hour’s drive — from Wallowa.
“The final nail was what’s happened in Union County,” Councilman Scott McCrae said.
The Center for Human Development on June 15 announced 99 new coronavirus cases in Union County, according to a report by the La Grande Observer. The spike puts the county at 123 cases — 121 confirmed and two presumptive — and moves the county to the top of the state in cases per capita.
In a press release, the center stated that 365 tests were conducted over the weekend and the 99 new cases are what has been “identified so far.”
Hulse said the city’s insurance company had agreed the city could put on the parade, but that was before the coronavirus surge in Union County.
Tom Baird, a local resident, had doubts about the success of holding a parade this year.
“I don’t think we’d have enough people who’d want to be in a parade,” he said.
Wallowa’s Fourth of July parade would have been the only one to happen in Wallowa County. Enterprise does not regularly hold such a parade, said Lacey McQuead, city administrator. Joseph has received no requests for street closures, said Larry Braden, city administrator. But Joseph has canceled the Chief Joseph Days Rodeo, which occurs later in July and is accompanied by a parade.