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Parade guidance

The following is intended as a plain-language summary of rules during the COVID-19 emergency and does not replace the need to follow all applicable federal, state, and local laws and regulations.

The following guidelines will help families and communities stay safe while attending a parade. For guidance about other large outdoor events, see Safety checklist for outdoor performance events and Safety checklist for outdoor shopping, fairs, and festivals.

For all attendees, performers, staff, and volunteers:

The Health Department strongly encourages everyone who is eligible to get a COVID-19 vaccine and a flu shot. If you haven’t gotten your COVID-19 vaccine yet, learn more here about how to get vaccinated in Philadelphia.

The safest way to celebrate with others is by doing so outside. Here are some guidelines to help you to stay safe:


  • All attendees, staff, and performers over the age of 2 should wear a mask, except:
    • While eating or drinking. Remove your mask only to eat or drink, then put your mask back on. Consider moving away from crowds to eat and drink.
  • All entertainers should be masked except:
    • Musicians actively playing woodwind and brass instruments. When not playing these musicians should wear a mask.
  • Individuals with a medical condition or taking medicines that weaken their immune system might not be completely protected even if they are fully vaccinated. They should wear a well-fitted mask while with anyone outside of their household until their healthcare provider advises them otherwise. Learn more about CDC’s precautions for unvaccinated family members.

Crowded areas

  • Attendees should plan and talk with their families about how to handle very crowded areas.
  • If areas of the parade route are overly crowded, avoid them as best you can.
  • Directors should consider ways to create less crowding among the entertainment, when possible.
  • If applicable, incorporate a cloth or surgical mask into costumes.
    • A costume mask cannot be a substitute for a cloth or surgical mask.
    • Do not wear a costume mask over a cloth or surgical mask.

Key prevention strategies for staff  and attendees:

  • Encourage physical distancing.
  • Encourage staff and attendees to stay home if they are sick or have any symptoms of COVID-19, and to get tested for COVID-19. See our map of testing sites. If an employee develops COVID-19 infection or has a positive test, businesses and other organizations must take additional precautions to stop the virus from spreading further.  See What to do if someone tests positive for COVID-19 at work for more information.
  • Tell staff and attendees, who have been in close contact with someone with a confirmed case of COVID-19 to quarantine if unvaccinated and get tested for COVID-19.
  • Ask all attendees to screen themselves for symptoms before attending the event.
  • It is not necessary to conduct onsite temperature measurements. If you measure temperatures, use a no-touch thermometer, and do not allow anyone with a temperature of 100.4 or higher to remain onsite.
  • Conduct contact tracing, in combination with isolation and quarantine for staff or attendees who show symptoms of COVID-19. These steps should be taken in a manner consistent with applicable laws and regulations, including those relating to privacy, and in collaboration with state, tribal, local, and territorial health departments.
  • Consider having masks on hand to give to attendees who forgot or whose mask has gotten lost or damaged.
  • Create prominent signage to remind attendees to remain masked unless actively eating or drinking.
  • Consider utilizing staff to remind patrons to mask if not actively eating or drinking. Train staff to remind patrons in a respectful manner. Read more about tips for asking patrons to mask (PDF).
  • Read CDC’s masking tips.

Key prevention strategies for facilities, including arrangement/construction of area surrounding parade route:

  • Consider using sidewalk decals or signs to help attendees keep their distance.
  • Reduce crowding at stops along the parade route, for example, by modifying layouts or installing physical barriers or guides to support physical distancing, where appropriate.
  • Consider creating seated areas where attendees may eat and/or drink while unmasked at the beginning or end of the route.
  • If applicable, consider how you will position food trucks, or food stands to prevent crowding and/or long lines.
  • Learn more about prevention strategies to stop the spread of COVID-19.
  • Masks should be worn at any related indoor events when vaccination status of all attendees is unknown. If applicable to your event, read guidance for Retail and indoor malls and Restaurants and mobile food vendors, catering, weddings, celebrations.
  • Post prominent signs at the event site:
    • Asking people who are sick or who have had contact with someone with COVID-19 within the past 10 days not to enter.
    • Encouraging people to wash hands and cover coughs or sneezes.

See also

  • Text COVIDPHL to 888-777 to receive updates to your phone.
  • If you have questions, call the Department of Public Health at (215) 685-5488.