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Klamath Falls celebrated the Fourth of July a little differently this year, with COVID-19 affecting the ways people can gather.

Instead of the traditional parade, this year’s festivities included a drive-thru parade where decorated vehicles parked along Main Street in downtown and the rest of the street was open to people to drive by, waving flags, playing music and cheering to those they passed by.

With a DJ playing music across from the usual Saturday Market, downtown was bustling with people celebrating a sunny Independence Day.

One family that was out to see the festivities was the Warnick family. Rick was out Saturday morning with his five kids, dressed in red, white and blue and waving their own mini flags. He said his kids love the parades and he still wanted to bring them out this year, even though it wasn’t the celebration they’re used to.

He said that with everything going on right now, from COVID-19 to national protests over racial inequality and police brutality, he feels it’s even more important to celebrate the Fourth of July this year, which he called a callback to the country’s roots.

After the parade, which was scheduled from 10 a.m. to noon, he said he and his family planned to go back home and barbecue for dinner before watching the fireworks at the Fairgrounds from their house nearby.

As motorcyclists went by, revving their engines and waving to his kids, Warnick said they love seeing the kids out there as much as the kids love being out there. He also said he’s “grateful to be in Klamath Falls.”

Fireworks were also scheduled at the Fairgrounds where people could drive up in their cars to watch the show this year. At 10 a.m. on Saturday as the drive-thru parade began, jets from Kingsley Field did a flyover.