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Some Fourth of July parades wound around COVID-19 concerns

Sun Sentinel logoSun Sentinel 7/4/2020 By Wayne K. Roustan, South Florida Sun Sentinel
a group of stuffed animals sitting on top of a car: Cookie Billing and Diana Kauppinn gather at Fort Lauderdale City Hall as they get ready to lead a Joe Biden Fourth of July car parade on Saturday, July 4, 2020. The caravan of cars left Fort Lauderdale City Hall, heading to Pompano Beach and Deerfield Beach. © Mike Stocker / South Florida Sun Sentinel/South Florida Sun Sentinel/TNS Cookie Billing and Diana Kauppinn gather at Fort Lauderdale City Hall as they get ready to lead a Joe Biden Fourth of July car parade on Saturday, July 4, 2020. The caravan of cars left Fort Lauderdale City Hall, heading to Pompano Beach and Deerfield Beach.

Fourth of July parades may have been fewer and shorter than in past years, but COVID-19 concerns did not stop some in Broward County from celebrating Independence Day.

One parade started at Fort Lauderdale city hall and wound its way through Pompano Beach to Deerfield Beach touting the nation’s birthday and presumed Democratic Presidential candidate Joe Biden.

a group of people standing next to a car: The City of Margate took its Fourth of July parade to its residents by winding through dozens of neighborhoods so crowds didn't have to line the usual parade routes and risk COVID-19 contagion. © Wayne K. Roustan/South Florida Sun Sentinel/TNS The City of Margate took its Fourth of July parade to its residents by winding through dozens of neighborhoods so crowds didn't have to line the usual parade routes and risk COVID-19 contagion.

The City of Margate also took its Fourth of July parade to its residents by winding through dozens of neighborhoods Saturday morning.

The parades featured the usual fire engines, police cruisers, city vehicles and elected officials waving from cars, but this year they drove up and down side streets so crowds wouldn’t have to line the usual parade routes on major roads and risk coronavirus contagion.

a group of people sitting around a car: The City of Margate took its Fourth of July parade to its residents by winding through dozens of neighborhoods so crowds didn't have to line the usual parade routes and risk COVID-19 contagion. © Wayne K. Roustan/South Florida Sun Sentinel/TNS The City of Margate took its Fourth of July parade to its residents by winding through dozens of neighborhoods so crowds didn't have to line the usual parade routes and risk COVID-19 contagion.

Carrie Pagley and her 5-year-old son Sinjon only had to walk a block to see the Margate parade.

“This was much more convenient for me,” she said. “They’re going on a ton of streets and really covering a lot of Margate and it’s awesome.”

The closest this parade got to having a float was a marine patrol boat on a trailer, but Leah and David Lopez didn’t mind.

“It’s not like it used to be but they tried really hard and I was happy to see it,” she said.

“It was nice to come around the corner from your house to see it,” he added. “You don’t have to travel.”

The Fort Lauderdale parade featured a life-sized cardboard cutout of Biden propped up in the backseat of a star-spangled Chevrolet Camaro convertible that Diana Kauppinen was driving.

“We are ridin’ with Biden, as you can see,” she said. “This is my dad’s car but he’s in quarantine otherwise he would be here himself.”

Her father isn’t sick, but Dan Dobin is in his 70s and decided to sit out the parade for safety’s sake. His Camaro made the parade, though, completely wrapped in patriotic themes.

“I didn’t have to decorate a car,” Kauppinen joked.

Melissa Schiff, of Florida Women for Biden, helped organize the parade of several dozen vehicles.

“The best way we can do this is to socially distance in our cars and have a parade at the same time,” she said.

Wayne K. Roustan can be reached at wkroustan@sunsentinel.com or 954-356-4303 or on Twitter @WayneRoustan

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©2020 the Sun Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)

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