City manager is open to holding a Black History Parade in the spring if COVID numbers permit – Pasadena Now

City Manager Cynthia Kurtz said Monday the city would be willing to reconvene the committee responsible for planning the Black History Parade based on the status of the pandemic.

Kurtz said the city would be happy to reconvene the committee in a few weeks to discuss holding the parade later this year.

“If we come out of COVID the way we hope, maybe they would consider postponing to the spring. If the board feels that this warrants further discussion, we would be happy to have it.

The parade was canceled earlier this month due to a failure to put in place safety protocols preventing the spread of COVID-19.

Unlike the Rose Parade, the event is free of charge and the city cannot control who shows up.

Kurtz said Monday that only seven entries had registered to participate in the event, which usually attracts hundreds of entries.

The Pasadena Black History Parade is one of the largest and oldest black history celebrations in the state.

Council member Steve Madison said he hopes the parade can take place in June.

“I’m wondering if it would be possible to consider rescheduling the parade maybe for June around June 19,” Madison said. “I would hate to see this parade miss a year, but obviously COVID has had a huge effect.”

Juneteenth is celebrated on June 19 and commemorates the end of slavery in the United States.

On June 19, 1865, two and a half years after President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, Union soldiers, led by Major General Gordon Granger, landed in Galveston, Texas with the news that the war was over and the slaves there were free.

The Emancipation Proclamation freed slaves only in Confederate states waging war against the union, leaving blacks in border states who remained loyal to the Union in slavery, a fact consistently omitted from the books. of history.

And African Americans in some places were forced to endure brutality due to the lack of Union troops available to enforce the new executive order that went into effect on January 1, 1863.

President Joe Biden signed a bill last year making June 19 a national holiday after the House and Senate passed the bill in a rare show of bipartisanship,

If the parade is moved to June 19, it would also correspond to the incorporation of the city,

Pasadena was incorporated on June 19, 1886, and many abolitionists came to the Pasadena/Altadena area, including Ellen Garrison Clark and John Brown’s son Owen.

After the parade was canceled, local residents were quick to point out that the Rose Parade took place even as the number of coronavirus cases and hospitalizations rose.

Ahead of the Rose Parade, holiday events and bowling games were canceled across the country as the country began to battle a new wave of the virus. Some locals at the time wondered why the parade and the game took place.

But the city had strict protocols in place for the Rose Parade. Ninety-one percent of the more than 6,500 participants in this year’s parade were vaccinated and the remaining 9% had to provide proof of a negative test within 72 hours of the event. Customers in the area with the largest audience were asked to provide proof of vaccination or a negative test.

“The Black History Parade and Black History Month are such an integral part of the fabric of Pasadena and yes, it feels like we’ve lost something since we’re not going to have the parade,” said council member John Kennedy. “But the reality is we all want to be safe and people have their fears and worries. When you go from over 100 entries to less than 10, it’s not because people aren’t empathetic and don’t want to take advantage of the multiplicity of cultures that exist in Pasadena, it’s something else and it’s health and safety.

The Town and Black History Planning Committee will be moving forward with hosting a wide variety of free family events this year to celebrate Black History Month. All events are in accordance with the Pasadena Public Health Department’s COVID-19 protocols.

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