COVID-19 Forcing Seasonal Events to Adjust or Cancel for the 2020 Season
Image taken from The Daily Meal
As the Autumn season stumbles upon us in the age of the Coronavirus pandemic, it is obvious to declare that the holidays and Fall activities this year will be drastically different than years prior. While it is difficult at the current moment to fully comprehend the extent of the parameters to ensure safety, it is necessary to remember that the virus will not disappear in order for us to celebrate. This not only includes the upcoming holidays, but every day Fall activities as well. However, with these precautions in mind, many events of these joyous months have already been canceled or altered due to the pandemic.
One of the first events to have been inevitably canceled is the annual Greenwich Village Halloween Parade. The parade, which would have been ‘Big Love’ themed for its 47th iteration, was confirmed to be canceled on September 9th by longtime parade director Gene Flemming. According to Flemming “It was going to be a big embrace and a pushing out of love right before the election.” In addition to the parade, the afterparty has also faced cancelation. Unlike in past years, the event would’ve taken place on a Saturday night that coincided with a blue moon.
However, not all is lost. Flemming implied that the parade organizers are still planning some sort of event for the night, but not one that will draw a crowd. In a time where New Yorkers need positivity now more than ever, “the city needs a parade right now” but in a COVID safe manner.
And this sort of sets precedent for other events that have not yet canceled their events. Yes, they will not be able to hold their usual festivities, but this is not a time to give up on hope. Instead, adjustments and alternatives must be made to keep the holidays safe.
Another major event that has been mostly canceled across the country is Black Friday: the day after Thanksgiving in which shoppers can receive superb deals on items in preparation for Christmas. However, with workers fearful of catching the virus and attracting already larger crowds, many retailers have announced that they will not have their doors open on Thanksgiving and on Black Friday this year. Walmart was the first to announce that they were going to close on Thanksgiving all the way back on July 21st. Walmart CEO John Furner stated “We know this has been a trying year, and our associates have stepped up. We hope they will enjoy a special Thanksgiving with their families”.
Shortly afterwards, on July 27th, Target announced that they will also be closed on Thanksgiving, followed by Best Buy less than 24 hours later. In addition, on that same day, Dick’s Sporting Goods announced its stores will also be closed. While these are only a few of the major retailers in the United States, they are stepping up early, and hopefully other stores will follow suit.
Finally, one of the biggest holiday events of the year has already announced its alternative to the 2020 year: the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. The annual holiday event that kicks off the start of the Christmas season will feature smaller pre-recorded events throughout New York City. The nearly century-old parade will be radically pared down due to the coronavirus pandemic. As of now, the department store has announced that the 94th edition of the parade will be similar to the Fourth of July fireworks show, which was staged and recorded in the days leading up to the day. Parade events will be staged over two days and the number of overall participants will be reduced by 75%.
The massive balloons will still be in play this year, but instead of having people handle them, “an innovative, specially rigged anchor vehicle framework of five specialty vehicles tested and approved by” New York City police and transportation officials will be used this year. The plan is