Since 1961, the World’s Shortest Parade has packed Soquel Drive in Aptos with floats, decorated cars, bands and other community displays of patriotism in celebration of Independence Day.
That will not be the case this year.
With the novel coronavirus still spreading and stay-at-home orders in effect, the parade is taking a year off. But Aptos residents will still have opportunities to showcase their patriotic spirit despite the cancellation.
The Aptos Chamber of Commerce is extending the Fourth of July festivities into a weeklong celebration, hoping to bring the community some happiness in otherwise tough times.
From July 1-4 the Chamber is encouraging Aptos residents to decorate their homes, businesses and cars to celebrate Independence Day. Participating businesses can enter the Red, White and Blue community contest run by the Chamber that will determine the best setup.
The community can cast its vote on the Chamber’s website and its social media accounts until midnight on July 4.
It is $25 to enter the contest. To sign up, visit aptoschamber.com.
Along with the recognition, the winning business will also win Fourth of July themed T-shirts for every employee on staff. Those T-shirts—which feature a red, white and blue animation of the Hibble’s late family dog, Buckely, with an American flag handkerchief over its snout—are currently being sold for $15 by the Chamber.
The T-shirts are also available at Deluxe Foods and Aptos Feed & Pet Supply.
“We thought, ‘Why can’t we extend that celebration into a whole week?” Chamber co-Executive Director Karen Hibble said. “We want to give people a little longer to feel good because we’ve all felt bad for so long…Things like this are important for our community in these moments.”
Hibble said the Aptos community at noon on Fourth of July will bang pots and pans, clap and cheer outside of their homes as a way to celebrate the holiday together from a safe distance.