Spectators watch boat races from city dock. (Courtesy of Wrangell Chamber of Commerce)

Wrangell still plans to hold the 4th of July parade and other festivities. But it’ll be different from previous years. That’s according to Chamber of Commerce Director Stephanie Cook speaking at a Tuesday meeting with the Wrangell Assembly.

“If we have to change the route and maybe make it longer, do it social distance style. Or there’s ways we can modify that as it gets closer. But we feel we could put on a parade safely for the community,” Cook says.

Independence Day celebrations have been canceled across the country due to concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic. But Cook says people in Wrangell will be encouraged to take precautions including remaining six feet apart. 

Cook says the site of the fireworks display hasn’t been set. And the festivities could be paired down to just a few days.

The month leading up to the 4th could be the biggest change. The chamber currently has no royalty candidates, who sell food and raffle tickets for the month of June. Money raised goes partially to the candidates and the chamber.

“It’s a little late in the game now to have anyone try to step up and do that,” Cook says. “So we’re looking at alternative ways to raise funds.”

Cook says chamber board members may still use the pavilion to sell food and tickets. She anticipates the chamber raising less money this year.

Last year, only one person ran for royalty and was crowned queen. That was 2019 Wrangell High School Graduate Abby Gerald.