The City of Mountlake Terrace announced Thursday that neither the Third of July Family Fireworks event nor the Tour de Terrace festival will take place this summer.
The city said the decision not to hold the events in 2021 was based on the short turnaround time following Gov. Jay Inslee’s expected June 30 announcement about a statewide reopening and the difficulty in meeting current state guidelines for large outdoor venues. After months of consideration and meetings with event organizers, the city concluded that resources and staffing weren’t available to manage the crowds in the vast areas of Ballinger Park and the Evergreen Playfield Complex with adjacent spaces, as well to procure the fencing and staffing necessary to meet the state’s requirements, whic include counting guests that enter and exit the venues.
During the discussions, the city said it was noted that several traditional events in the area are not taking place this summer except for those that charge an entrance fee that helps pay for staffing and equipment needed to provide for enhanced social distancing, sanitation, hygiene, and attendance control. As the July 3 Family Fireworks and Tour de Terrace events are provided free to the public, the funding needed to meet stringent COVID-19 protocols were too much for these volunteer organizations to absorb, particularly in such large venues that do not have natural containment, the city added.
“As disappointed as we are to not hold these events in our community, it was just too expensive and expansive to manage this year while maintaining public health and safety,” said Community Relations Director Virginia Olsen.
One event the city does hope to add later in the summer is a grand opening event at the new Civic Campus. “Since the area is not as vast as our parks and can be contained, and we hope to be in Phase 4 or beyond, we believe we can hold this event even with COVID-19 requirements,” Olsen said. “Initial planning is taking place, although the dates will not be decided until the project is complete, the city has moved in, and the coronavirus situation becomes clearer.”