GLENSIDE, PA  -- Complying with Coronavirus Pandemic mandates, directives and public health guidelines issued by local, Montgomery County and Commonwealth of Pennsylvania government officials,the non-profit Greater Glenside Patriotic Association (GGPA) is officially cancelling its annual, three-tier July 4 celebration in both Abington and Cheltenham Townships.

Originally scheduled for Saturday, July 4, the traditional, free admission celebration would have included a morning children's program at Cheltenham's Renninger Park, Glenside's 117th  Annual Grand, Glorious, Patriotic Parade at 4 p.m., and an after-dark America The Beautiful Aerial Fireworks Spectacular launched above the Abington Senior and Junior High Schools'.

Cancelled, too, is the GGPA's 9th Annual "Keep the Parade Running" 5K/1-Mile Run that was scheduled for Saturday, June 27, after having been shifted from its original date of Saturday, April 18. A key fundraising event for the GGPA, the run is conducted in memory of the late Mike Gillespie, a Glenside resident who was most active in planning and staging his community's July 4 celebration while serving as an Abington Township police officer and later as a Glenside ward 13 township commissioner.

GGPA President Jamey Piggot, of Glenside, Abington Township, said on May 30 that there have been ongoing conversations and considerations over recent months involving government officials and the GGPA in serious and conscientious attempts to see if the 2020 celebration, or portions of the family-friendly event, would be doable under current pandemic conditions.  "But after all was said and done, and after nearly a year of planning, while wanting to be a good, responsible and caring community organization and asset," said Piggott, "the all-volunteer GGPA board and membership have agreed to suspend our 2020 activities.  Our planning will now be directed to the 2021 Independence Day Celebration of Sunday, July 4, 2021."