"Sparky," the 4th of July parade mascot.

The nearly century-old tradition of Fourth of July celebrations in Evanston will transition to a virtual model this year.

The Evanston Fourth of July Association has announced that because of the coronavirus pandemic, it is canceling the playground activities, roller skating, kids’ fun run, parade, live concert and fireworks for this year.

The cancellation was first reported by Evanston Now last week

The not-for-profit volunteer organization has decided to turn over $10,000 of the funds it typically would have spent to stage the holiday events to the Evanston Community Foundation’s new Evanston Community Rapid Response Fund.

Association Trustee Hillary Bean says the group is seeking volunteers to create a virtual 4th of July celebration this year and its also seeking donations to fund an even bigger celebration marking the group’s 100th year in 2021.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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