The mayor’s office and special events division decided to cancel Aurora’s July 4th parade and replace it with a patriotic procession featuring emergency vehicles and veterans in trolleys driving neighborhood streets. Also, an activist who removed nearly 100 bags of garbage from a homeless encampment asked the city to provide trash cans in the area.
Diane Moca: Welcome to Talking Cities Aurora. I'm Diane Moca, and these are the headlines in our city this week. Aurora's annual Independence Day Parade is canceled. The city's communication officer said an Independence Day, patriotic procession featuring first responders driving through the city's neighborhoods will take its place. The procession first replaced the parade during COVID to allow residents to watch from their own front yard or from the window of their apartment complex or nursing home. Staff said the parade required a lot of city resources to travel one mile downtown for one hour to entertain about 3,000 people. Instead, the procession will travel 23 miles for two and a half hours starting at 10:00 in the morning on July 4th and hitting about half the city. It will feature emergency vehicles with lights, and sirens, and elected officials, and veterans riding on trolleys. Some residents spoke out against it, saying it was a big disappointment to the local bands and dancers who look forward to performing and marching. King county board member, Mavis Bates, said, "I'm disturbed this decision was made behind closed doors. You've taken something precious. We want it back." A homeless advocate told city council he removed trash from under a bridge in Aurora that filled about 100 bags because the nearby park district church and businesses have prohibited the homeless from putting garbage in their dumpsters. George Gutierrez requested the city provide garbage cans and set up some type of program for regular trash removal to prevent years' worth of trash from building up and polluting the river. He said he spoke to the homeless, and they want to dispose of their trash properly, but have nowhere to put it. He said, "We have a homeless population. We should set up trash cans there." From Talking Cities Aurora, I'm Diane Moca, and those are the week's trending topics.