SOUTHWICK- The Southwick 250th Anniversary Committee voted unanimously May 20 to postpone all future Southwick 250 events to 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The vote would take most of the Southwick 250 events that were planned for 2021 and schedule them for roughly the same time in 2021.
This included the Southwick 250 Grand Parade that was supposed to take place on Oct. 10.
“Maybe things will be safe in the fall. Maybe they won’t. My impression is that the Commonwealth has been taking a slow but sure approach to doing things,” said Jim Putnam, chair of the Southwick 250 Committee.
Other towns in the area and around the state have also had to cancel their anniversary celebrations due to the pandemic. Suffield had its 350th anniversary cancelled, as well as Plymouth’s 400th anniversary.
Committee member Marcus Phelps said that they had come up with three options to deal with the parade. The first option was to have the parade as scheduled in October, which all committee members agreed would not be possible.
The second option was to have the parade on Nov. 7 with just vehicles and no marchers with a designated route around town so that people could watch from their lawns.
The committee ultimately chose to postpone the parade until at least the Spring of 2021. They did not choose a specific date, but agreed to reconvene in September to try to decide when exactly to hold the parade.
Other events that were moved to 2021 include the annual Boat Race, July fireworks, and the August Encampment.
Selectman and committee member Russ Fox said that there would still be a small Memorial Day celebration for the town that will feature less than 10 people. The ceremony will be either live streamed or shown later on Channel 15.
Multiple committee members expressed that they were supportive of the decision to postpone all events, but that they were upset that it had to come to that.
“I think our challenge is to keep our enthusiasm and energy alive and try to come back to it next year,” said Putnam.