The City of Moab announced that planned Independence Day events would be canceled “due to the rising number of COVID-19 cases in the state and out of an abundance of caution,” a statement read.

A fireworks display from the Lions Back area planned for the Fourth of July holiday is still scheduled to proceed, as of June 26. The fireworks are put on by Grand County with some funding from the city.

The city’s planned Fourth of July events at the Center Street Ball Park had hit some complications and drawn skepticism due to coronavirus risk levels. Plans had included volleyball games, a lemonade stand, at least one food vendor and sprinklers for kids to play in.

However, at the Moab City Council meeting on June 23 it was reported that nine local businesses had declined to be vendors at the event.

The brief statement from the city said that “decisions about planned future events will be announced at a later time.”

Large events throughout the United States have been canceled to stop the rapid spread of the coronavirus in both urban and rural areas, including the New Mexico State Fair and the New York City Marathon.

Moab Mayor Emily Niehaus released a short video announcing the cancellation.

“City and county government, businesses, our schools, parents, caregivers: we’re all trying to figure this out right now and make good decisions. These are tough times,” Niehaus said.

Castle Valley holds July 4 parade

The town of Castle Valley and the Castle Valley Fire Department will hold an Independence Day parade on July 4 at 10 a.m., proceeding along Castle Valley Drive beginning at Keogh Lane and ending at Town Hall.

“Parties and pandemics don’t go together,” a press release from the town said, emphasizing that attendees should wear facial coverings and show attention to proper physical distancing.

A large, patriotic rhino puppet named Bert will be participating in the parade as the “self-appointed Social Distancing Monitor of Castle Valley,” the release said, noting that Bert is six feet long from horn to tail, perfect for learning how to maintain a safe space between neighbors.