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Red, white and blue ribbon brings Tanglewood neighbors together

Posted July 7, 2020

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a resident holds a box of ribbons, and a closeup view of the ribbons on the trees
Parade committee chair Jennifer Smith and other volunteers helped Tanglewood neighbors 'Ribbon Up' their trees for the Fourth of July after the neighborhood's annual parade was postponed until next year because of coronavirus.

Tanglewood planned long and hard to have its popular, annual Fourth of July celebration this year, taking proper COVID-19 precautions. The result: a highly-promoted vehicle procession instead of a typical parade.

What’s the difference between a procession and a parade? A vehicle procession doesn’t require blocking off city streets. Drivers simply obey posted traffic signs along the route.

But more important: a procession of cars and trucks — no bicycles or pedestrians — means families stay in their vehicles for proper social distancing. Those living along the procession route can watch safely from their front yards. Other neighbors can keep six-foot distance while watching from a stretch of parkland along the route. The city Public Events Office even praised the procession route for incorporating an abundance of right turns for traffic safety.

Alas, a spike in coronavirus cases and a ban on crowds of mroe than 100 people required plans to change again.

Tanglewood’s executive board postponed the Fourth of July procession until 2021, but came up with a way for their community to celebrate in spite of the setback. The Ribbon Up! project encourages Tanglewood residents to tie red, white and blue ribbons around their trees, decorate front yards with flags and walk or drive the neighborhood with their family to enjoy the patriotic sights. The association even offered free materials to those who weren’t able to get out and purchase them.

While residents look forward to the return of the Fourth of July procession next year, they appreciate being able to experience the holiday together — from a safe distance.

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