For the second year in a row, Edgartown selectmen voted unanimously to cancel the town’s trademark Fourth of July parade and fireworks, citing public safety concerns with the large-scale summer events that draw tens of thousands of people to the crowded downtown.

“I think it’s the responsible way to go,” selectman Art Smadbeck said after the vote.

The decision at Monday’s selectmen’s meeting came on the same day that Gov. Charlie Baker fast-tracked the state’s reopening process, rescinding all state Covid-19 restrictions, gathering limits and capacity constraints by May 29.

But a cadre of Edgartown officials agreed at Monday’s meeting that the Fourth of July parade and fireworks still represented a considerable risk for a town that remains in the red for Covid-19 case positivity rates.

Town administrator James Hagerty began discussion by framing the issue around pros and cons, saying that almost all towns in the commonwealth had already canceled their official Fourth of July celebrations.

“It kind of comes down to a risk/reward situation,” Mr. Hagerty said. “Obviously 100,000 people congregating in downtown area for fireworks parade, as we know presents some area of public health concerns, staffing level and operational responses are already degraded due to Covid, and we could have unmanageable situation with a major incident.”

He added that despite the governor’s recent decision to fully reopen the state, the logistics of that reopening remained unclear and the reaction at the local level remained unknown.

“It’s a tough decision, but if we move forward with the events, we will be one of the only towns in Massachusetts to hold fireworks and a parade,” Mr. Hagerty said.

Parade grandmaster Joe Sollitto said that it would be impossible to do crowd control of any kind, especially in the tight areas where the parade begins and subsequently snakes through the downtown.

“If you’re at the fair, or at a restaurant, that’s a controlled situation,” Mr. Sollitto said. “A lot of people are going to be upset, but at this point in time, I think this is the right decision to make.”

Health agent Matt Poole said the events would be difficult to accomplish considering staffing issues in public safety departments — a concern echoed by police chief Bruce McNamee and fire chief Alex Schaeffer. Chief McNamee said his department was only 50 to 60 per cent staffed for the summer.

“I think we may struggle and be underprepared,” chief Schaeffer said.

After discussion, selectmen held a formal vote and reluctantly decided to cancel the events.

“It would seem to me, listening to these discussions, we have some serious public safety concerns. Covid aside, we are down staffing this year,” Mr. Smadbeck said. “I think it’s a question of public safety.”

Selectmen Margaret Serpa and Michael Donaroma agreed.

“The reality is, the Island already feels like July. I can’t imagine what July is going to be like,” Mr. Donaroma said. “Let’s take the year and get ready for next year. That seems like the right thing to do.”

The Fourth of July parade and fireworks join the Oak Bluffs August fireworks as two seminal summer events that have been canceled for the second season in a row due to the ongoing pandemic. Other events, such as the Agricultural Fair and the Beach Road Weekend music festival, have said they will proceed but with restrictions.