Commentary: Chamber announces COVID-smart 4th of July

Local Independence Day tradition continues with creative festivities

The Cordova Chamber of Commerce with the help of community partners, supporters and volunteers is excited to announce this year’s program of COVID-Conscious Independence Day festivities. We’re very happy to have found a framework which Cordova’s medical advisors agree can offer necessary safety and mitigation protocols so all Cordovans can celebrate the Fourth of July in a way they are comfortable and able.

Although the event is a bit different this year, there is still a little something for everyone. In-person festivities will begin at 10 a.m. Saturday, July 4 at Hollis Henrichs Park. There are also a host of activities that can be enjoyed from the comfort and safety of home or with your trusted bubble on your own schedule.

The chamber team and I have put substantial time and effort into an event safety plan that we feel will provide appropriate safety protocols and social distancing while allowing the community to continue to celebrate this important national holiday. The plan has been approved by Cordova’s Medical Response team and has also gone through the city manager, mayor, Police Chief Mike Hicks, the Incident Management Team and City Council with no additional revisions suggested. Dr. Hannah Sanders is very supportive of the plan as well.

“I appreciate all the work that the chamber put into this plan,” she said. “The MRT reviewed to evaluate for any concerns, but we were very satisfied with the plan as presented.”

The event safety plan is also available for public viewing on the chamber’s website.

Cordovans in good health are invited to meet at the Cordova Community Medical Center parking lot at 10 a.m. Saturday, July 4 to join an Independence Bike Parade.

Participants can walk or bike and will be released by household/social bubble groups of 10 or less with 10 feet between each group. Groups are encouraged to dress up and decorate bicycles, strollers or other non-motorized vehicles to compete for “best in show.”

Fourth of July fun will continue on Saturday with socially distanced activities at Hollis Henrichs Park, where social distancing circles will be marked out on the field. Patrons can expect some familiar Independence Day events including the presentation of colors by members of U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Fir and singing of the national anthem. These traditional activities will be complemented by an assortment of games and activities that groups can do without leaving their social bubbles. Bring camp chairs or blankets, and a picnic lunch to enjoy on the field afterwards or grab a bite along the way.

Some things to be aware of if you plan to join in on the in-person activities:

  • High-risk populations are encouraged to stay home.
  • Be sure to bring a face-covering with you to the event so it can be easily donned as needed.
  • Feeling sick? Stay home! No participant may join in any activity within 72 hours of a fever.
  • We’re encouraging social distance of at least 6 ft. with people outside your household/social bubble.
  • Handwashing and hand sanitizer stations will be available on-site. Please use them often!

The Chamber has also worked with several local partners to put together a list of some other Fourth of July activities that can be enjoyed from home on your own schedule including an “Independence” Virtual Photo Show put on by Cordova Historical Museum & Gallery, a Patriotic Scavenger Hunt, Fourth of July Cordova Rocks rock-painting, and a Kids’ Art Show & Coloring Contest by Cordova Public Library. View the full list of activities and details at

This event is free, supported by local businesses and volunteers, and is brought to you by the Cordova Chamber of Commerce. This event could not be possible without community support. Contact Jessicca Morningstar Hoover at 907-424-7260 or email if you’d like to support the event with a donation or by volunteering.

Cathy Renfeldt is the executive director at the Cordova Chamber of Commerce.