Paramount, Bellflower officials rethink traditional events

Wave Staff Report

PARAMOUNT — The city will still celebrate Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas and will honor veterans, but the events will be different this fall because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The City Council Sept. 15 received and filed staff’s recommendation for COVID-safe ways to celebrate the holidays.

Bellflower officials also are making plans for some community activities, but have had to cancel other traditional events because of the pandemic.

Paramount Parks and Recreation Director Dave Johnson told his city council, that plans approved by the Paramount Parks and Recreation Commission Aug. 19 could be changed or canceled if Los Angles County recommended tougher restrictions.

“We need to ensure that our community events, in their current or revised format, provide a safe and socially distanced opportunity for the Paramount community to enjoy them,” Johnson said.

Johnson said there would be a drive-through Halloween Festival and Haunted House at either Paramount Park or Bianchi Drive-In Theatres, both on Paramount Boulevard Oct. 30.

“We are also encouraging Bianchi Theatres to show a family-friendly Halloween movie at their drive-in for those families that would like to go directly from our event into the drive-in theatre, subject to occupancy limitations,” Johnson said.

For Veterans Day, Johnson aid the city would be sending a unique city patriotic face mask and an exclusive Paramount veterans T-shirt to each veteran or active member of the military in the city.

“We will be distributing these items the week of November 9-13 with a greeting card from the City Council expressing their gratitude and thanks for their years of service,” Johnson said.

The city will celebrate Thanksgiving with senior citizens Nov. 19 by providing a meal that will be delivered to the homes of each senior citizen.

“In order to reach more Paramount seniors, we will conduct phone and social media outreach to have more seniors participate in the event,” Johnson said. “We will be working with local restaurants to provide seniors a boxed lunch. To help with the cost of distributing boxed lunches to more seniors, we will be soliciting donations from businesses and organizations.

Christmas activities are still in limbo at this time, Johnson said.

The annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony probably will be canceled unless the county Public Health Department issues new guidelines on public gatherings.

The city would still like to conduct its Photo with Santa, Breakfast with Santa, and Santa Train activities.

In Bellflower, Parks and Recreation Director P.J. Mellana told his city council that many upcoming community events are on hold, pending direction from the state and county.

The annual Bellflower Car Show, sponsored by the Noon Lions Club at the city, has been canceled, along with the Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast, the Joint Service Club Luncheon, and the Chamber of Commerce’s

Halloween Trick-or-Treat event.

The city is hoping to be able to hold a dedication ceremony for the new Veterans Memorial on Veterans Day, Nov. 11, but that is still up in the air, Mellana said.

The city is hoping to be able to hold most of its Christmas holiday activities, but the Kids Christmas Party has been canceled.

Two other traditional events, the swearing-in of new City Council members Dec. 14 and a ceremony honoring the outgoing mayor Jan. 11 are being planned, but could be canceled, depending on the county.

The annual BRAVO Awards where the city Recognizes Acts of Valor and Outstanding services will probably be pushed back from Feb. 4 to sometime in March or April, Mellana said.