Parade? No. Fireworks? Yes!

The City Council’s Municipal Operations and Property Subcommittee this week began the job of planning for Sanford’s summer holiday celebrations, when they spoke with Recreation Coordinator Lori Hegarty and Parks Supervisor Brian Desrochers.

Effective May 24, state guidelines will allow for outdoor events to be held at 100% capacity, as long as social distancing measures are followed. They debated whether crowds could be adequately spaced at various events. It was decided that traditional Memorial Day and Fourth of July parades would not work this year, not because of the route itself, but because the crowding together at the beginning and end could be problematic.

It was decided instead to promote public attendance at the Memorial activities which will take place at the cemeteries and public spaces in town. Typically, Memorial Day includes ceremonies at Central Park, St. Ignatius Cemetery, Oakdale Cemetery, Soldiers and Sailors Park, the Gazebo in Springvale (near Walgreens), Riverside Cemetery, and Notre Dame Cemetery, concluding with a water ceremony at #1 Pond.  A wreath is placed at each location, a prayer is said and taps is played. Members of the Veteran’s Memorial Committee will proceed to each location. The public will be encouraged to wave as they pass by, or to be present at one of the ceremonies. Look for more information on the route and schedule as the date gets closer.

With regard to Fourth of July activities, the Subcommittee members agreed with Parks & Rec staff that fireworks will be back on this year, and the water ski show will be held as well. However, there will be no band and no vendors at #1 Pond, to discourage large numbers of people from gathering.

Ms. Hegarty also briefed the Subcommittee on the Eastern Regional Water Ski Tournament which couldn’t be held last year. She hopes that by the scheduled date of July 25, pandemic restrictions will be relaxed enough to allow it to happen. If so, five or six teams will compete at the event.

At its next meeting on Tuesday, April 6, the City Council is expected to officially approve opening up parks and fields for family events and outside groups, under Covid guidelines. Mr. Desrochers said the phones have been ringing off the hook with people wanting to make reservations.

Image by Briam Cute from Pixabay

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