The annual July 4 celebration on the Washington Mall next year will not feature the Beach Boys but will focus on a more traditional "family-oriented" program, the National Park Service announced yesterday.
"Our decision is to return to a more patriotic program for 1986," said Sandra Alley, a Park Service spokeswoman who is a member of the planning committee for next year's celebration.
The committee, which made the decision late last week after several weeks of deliberation, considered the Park Service's ability to handle the crowds, which this year totaled 550,000 in the downtown park areas; the damage connected with the celebration -- including the leaving of 206 tons of garbage -- and the tone of the program.
"Is that the kind of situation -- and the situation it creates in terms of injuries, garbage, impact on people -- that is appropriate for the Park Service to be sponsoring for an Independence Day celebration in the nation's capital?" said Alley.
Alley said that the decision had nothing to to with the Beach Boys' talent and that she hoped it would not provoke outrage of the kind fans displayed after then-secretary of the interior James Watt said the group would "attract the wrong element" to the Mall.
The 1986 program has not been formulated. "We didn't put a ban on rock. The program could include rock . . . if they sing 'God Bless America.' " she said.
The Beach Boys performed on the Mall for four July 4 lawn parties. Their Park Service contract calls for the group to pay "up to $100,000," according to Alley, for security fencing, rental of comfort stations and the cleanup. The group also assumed the costs of travel, backstage security, and construction of the stage and sound system. Those expenses, which totaled $98,200, have not been paid, Alley said, adding that the Park Service has worked out a payment plan.
Even if the echoes of "California Girls" are gone from the Mall for good, the Park Service is staying with another tradition. "We will definitely have fireworks," said Alley.