Bourne Fourth of July Parade Uncertain Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

BOURNE – The fate of Bourne’s Fourth of July parade remains up in the air as questions and concerns were raised at a recent Board of Selectmen meeting about the safety of such an event. 

Jennifer K. Kennedy, coordinator of the parade, said that she would like to see approval from selectmen.

“I would like to see the parade still happen this year. I know that we’re in the middle of a pandemic, but this an outside event that would be happening during the day in the sunlight.  I think that it would be something that would be great for moral in the Town of Bourne right now. I think we all need a little pick-me-up.”

Kennedy said that there has not been a lot of planning done on this year’s parade, as its fate was uncertain.

“We would have to sit down and talk about a lot of the details,” said Kennedy.

“It would not be a parade that would be as large as last year because I know some people would be backing out of the parade. We also haven’t done any of the fundraisers that we normally do, so funding the parade would be something I also have to think about.  There would be less of the larger scale bands and participants.”

Board Member George Slade, though confident that the parade marchers would stay apart, was concerned that parade-goers along Main Street would not adhere to social distancing guidelines during the event.

“Certain protocols would have to be observed along Main Street, because people feed off crowds. Certainly in sporting events they do, but even something like a parade,” said Slade.

“It is a time when people who haven’t seen each other for several weeks, maybe several months. It will be very difficult not to shake hands, hug, and things like that where people normally do that, especially people on the side.”

Selectman Jared MacDonald said that he was not opposed to the idea of outdoor venue events if it was done safely.

“If this is going to be the new normal, people are going to have to learn to work with it. We can’t watch everyone, and we can’t babysit,” said MacDonald.

“We have to move forward at some point.”

Selectman James Potter offered that the parade could feature only vehicles and no marchers to maximize safety for participants in the event, however noted that the same could not be done for those watching the parade.

“I’m open to maybe some type of parade adaptation. I think everything has to change, we’re sort of changing society how we’re doing everything. I think in this case, if the event could adapt, and it seems as though it could follow a lot of guidelines out there, healthwise, it’s probably something that I could see happen,” said Potter.

“A traditional parade probably wouldn’t be a good thing right now. With the way that the bystanders would be, I don’t know how that would be monitored or taken care of, but I think that’s an important part of it. It’s not just the parade participants.”

Board members did not make a final decision on whether or not to move forward with a Fourth of July parade.

About Grady Culhane

Grady Culhane is a Cape Cod native currently living in Eastham. He studied media communications at Cape Cod Community College and joined the News Center in 2019.
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