Caution tape marked areas along Main Street from late Thursday evening through Friday, but it wasn’t to designate a hazardous area or crime scene. Instead, Logan had a taste of a “normal” Independence Day weekend in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Cache Valley Cruise-In Parade almost didn’t happen this year, but thanks to donations from several local businesses, classic hot rods and new cars dragged Main on Friday.
“Everybody felt pretty strongly that we still needed to do something,” said Brandon Douglas, the president of the Cache Valley Cruising Association. “Everybody had been locked up for a couple months at this point.”
While the Cruise-In is typically a three-day show that takes place at the Cache County Fairgrounds, enforcing COVID-19 precautions at the gathering would have been too difficult, Douglas said. But continuing the parade tradition could be done with social distancing and mask recommendations, so the health department and county officials were supportive of the event.
“There are many people that attended every car show since they were born,” Douglas said. “There are many people who plan their family parties and reunions around the Cruise-In, many people who that’s their hobby and what they look forward to doing every summer. And it was just confirmed by the numbers that we saw the evening of July 3, that it was the right decision to do.”
This is not the first year the Cruise-In Parade has been jeopardized. In 2019, Logan sent the organizers a letter detailing nearly $10,000 in expenses incurred by the parade, especially with the additional demands needed to secure the permit to meet the Utah Department of Transportation’s standards to use Main Street. Douglas said the organization barely makes it from car show to car show and couldn’t handle the additional costs.
But Cache Valley Bank, in addition to Lee’s Marketplace and Watkins Printing, stepped up to foot the bill to continue the tradition.
Blankets and chairs lined Main Street, just like past years, to watch the 325 vehicles drive past — except with more attention to spacing.
“They all seemed to do really well,” Douglas said. “They weren’t sitting on top of each other. They tried to spread out so they weren’t so congested, and we saw a lot of face masks.”
While the Cruise-In Parade has rounded out the three-day car show and generally took place on July 4, organizers decided to move it up to July 3 this year as Logan had cancelled the Freedom Fire show as to not compete with Hyrum or Lewiston’s fireworks. And while Hyrum ultimately moved its show to Friday as well, Douglas said the timing worked out “better than expected.”
“We were done by quarter-to-eight, and it gave people time to clean up their areas and go to where they were going to watch fireworks,” he said, “and so it kept it one big night of celebration instead of having to go out a couple of nights during the weekend.”
Douglas said the planning for next year’s event will start next week, but one thing has already been decided: country artist Leann Rimes, who was scheduled to perform the concert on July 2, has already been booked for 2021.