Concerns over COVID-19 prompt date change
It’s hoped that Hindsight Will Be 2021 as the committee planning this July’s Homecoming+Heritage event voted on Monday, Apr. 6 to postpone in light of COVID-19.
The committee has postponed the celebration to July 2-4, 2021, but will meet in December 2020 to assess and confirm the date, considering the rapid evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Homecoming+Heritage committee chair Wayne Murray says of the decision that “we would rather the St. Marys community fully focus on supporting the fight against COVID-19 and hopefully we can have a true celebration in 2021. Our committee will now use our energies to help get through this difficult situation we are currently in.”
Worldwide, many longstanding events have been postponed or cancelled through the summer, with many municipalities in Ontario cancelling all events to the end of June. Homecoming+Heritage committee secretary John Flanagan says that “I think it’s scary for anyone planning summer events – but we know that this is a necessary step that many will agree with.”
Mayor Al Strathdee, also a member of the committee, says “the decision to postpone Homecoming+Heritage was difficult but the correct way to proceed. I’d like to thank our volunteers for their hard work to date – hopefully next July we can really celebrate.”
Municipal staff continue to monitor the pandemic to inform decisions about other summer events, including Canada Day festivities, Melodies at the Museum and the new Highlight St. Marys in August. As summer approaches, these events will be confirmed, cancelled or redesigned as pandemic conditions permit.
Town of St. Marys events coordinator Andrea Macko says that “these are unprecedented times, and deciding to cancel such beloved, community-building events is not taken lightly. However, we must always keep our residents’ safety at the fore.”
Other community groups looking for insight on whether to proceed with their summer events are welcome to contact Macko at firstname.lastname@example.org.