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In this 2018 file photo, members of the Marietta Fire Department walk the route of the Let Freedom Ring parade, shaking hands with youngsters along the way.

Marietta announced Thursday it would move forward with in-person Independence Day events, including the Let Freedom Ring Parade, which were canceled last year due to the pandemic.

The city cited in a news release Gov. Brian Kemp’s April 8 order lifting a pandemic emergency restriction barring gatherings of 50 people or more.

Last year, Marietta Mayor Steve Tumlin had suggested celebrating July 4 with a scaled-down parade limited to first-responders, healthcare workers, graduating high schoolers and veterans, but that plan was scrapped, too.

At the time, Tumlin said City Council members and staff determined they couldn’t host a parade — which would likely have been the only one in the area — and effectively enforce social distancing guidelines. The city instead hosted a “patriotic” decorating contest, inviting residents to submit pictures of their decorated front yards, business store windows, neighborhoods and more.

Marietta’s parks and recreation department is now accepting applications for the 2021 Let Freedom Ring Parade, which is scheduled for Saturday, July 3. School bands, military units, civic organizations, beauty queens, local Boys and Girl Scout clubs, area businesses and others can sign up online to be a part of this year’s parade, according to the release.

Those who are interested can submit applications online at cityofmarietta.formstack.com/forms/fourth_of_july_parade. Applications are due May 28 at 5 p.m.

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