A 12-Year-Old’s Idea Saves NJ Town’s Fourth Of July Parade


A New Jersey girl wasn’t happy when she heard her town’s annual Fourth of July parade down Main Street was canceled because of COVID-19, so she came up with a plan to save the summer tradition. Emma Zapata emailed the mayor of Chatham with a suggestion, writing, “I’ve always been a problem solver and I’ve brainstormed some possible ideas about how to make this work.”

The tween explained that she thought they could still make the parade happen with some changes. Mayor Thad Kobylarz says Emma’s thought process was “if you can’t have the people come to the parade, let’s take the parade to the people.” She recommended the route wind through neighborhood streets where residents could watch safely from their front yards. And he liked the idea and gave it the green light.

“I almost felt bad that I didn’t think of it myself,” Kobylarz says. “It was not only ingenious, but it took courage. Especially as a 12-year-old child to say ‘hey, Mr. Mayor, you have a problem and I can solve the problem for you.’”

Source: CBS New York