City of Federal Way cancels summertime events due to COVID-19

July 4 festival and Flavor of Federal Way multicultural festival canceled over public health concerns.

Two of Federal Way’s annual summertime events have been canceled due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the mayor announced May 5.

The City of Federal Way is canceling both the Red, White and Blues Festival and accompanying fireworks display scheduled for July 4 at Celebration Park, as well as the Flavor of Federal Way Multicultural Festival in August at Town Square Park because of concerns over the spread of the coronavirus in the community, according to a recent news release.

Mayor Jim Ferrell made the announcement at Tuesday night’s virtual city council meeting.

“During this difficult time, we need to continue to put the health and safety of our community at the forefront of our decision-making process,” Ferrell said. “We felt that it was certainly too soon to host community events where — no matter how much encouragement or suggestion — social distancing guidelines will likely be compromised.”

On May 1, Gov. Jay Inslee issued a four-phased approach to re-opening Washington’s economy, deemed Safe Start.

Under this plan, the earliest expected date (based on current data trends) when public interactions will be allowed to resume is July 6, during the fourth and final phase. Phase 4 also recommends physical distancing guidelines to be observed.

This year would have been the 27th annual Fourth of July Red, White and Blues Festival for the city. Featuring live entertainment, music and family-friendly activities, the festival drew more than 20,000 attendees in 2019.

Flavor of Federal Way, hosted by Federal Way’s Diversity Commission, welcomed 11 food vendors, 84 profit and nonprofit vendors, and 12 cultural performances at last year’s second-annual festival.