It's Fourth of July weekend with the nation marking its birthday Saturday, and it'll certainly go down as one of the more unusual holidays in recent memory.
With government restrictions on crowd size because of the coronavirus, there won't be parades and festivals and awe-inspiring fireworks in the sky.
But people will still eat hot dogs and watermelon and drink beer and celebrate at home, and maybe fire off (legal) fireworks and enjoy the company (in small gatherings) of friends and relatives (perhaps wearing masks when appropriate). If it's nice weather, one can envision people in parks and boats on water, and people having fun under the circumstances (and practicing social distancing).
So, yes, we can still celebrate Independence Day.
Fireworks displays have been canceled, including the famous 57th Fort Vancouver Fireworks Spectacular on the Washington side of the Columbia River.
And fireworks usually accompany the multi-day Waterfront Blues Festival — when the festival actually takes place at Waterfront Park on the Willamette River. It, too, has been canceled.
(There will be fireworks on television — "A Capitol Fourth" on PBS/OPB, which includes pre-taped concerts, and Macy's 4th of July Fireworks on NBC/KGW, both at 8 p.m.).
People won't be gathering for the Portland Craft Beer Festival. Animals and people won't be putting on entertainment at the St. Paul Rodeo. And, kids and adults won't be able to enjoy a day of fun at Oaks Amusement Park — it's closed. If folks have organized parades, it'll be small and involve cars and (perhaps) social distancing.
One thing to follow:
The Waterfront Blues Festival has shifted to its "Listening Together" series, featuring the programs "Bandwagon" in neighborhoods on July 3-4, "Broadcast" on July 4 (airing on KOIN TV) and "On Air" on July 4-5 (airing on KBOO 90.7 FM).
"Bandwagon" will bring socially distanced live music to selected driveways, cul-de-sacs and front porches in the Portland area on Friday and Saturday.
"Broadcast" will be a two-hour TV special celebrating memorable Blues Fest performances, 9 p.m.-11 p.m. Saturday, capped by a replay of a fireworks show.
"On Air" will air music on KBOO and online at www.kboo.fm/listen-now, noon-7 p.m. Saturday and noon-7 p.m. Sunday.
For more: www.waterfrontbluesfest.com.
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