COVID-safe Memorial Day parade planned

COVID-safe Memorial Day parade planned

The Whitehall Village Board approved Legion Post 83 Commander’s Mike Rocque’s proposal to move forward with the return of the annual Memorial Day parade, which he said would be organized as a COVID-safe event. Rocque presented the plans at the board’s April meeting.

“Post 83 is requesting permission to see if we can do our annual Memorial Day parade,” he said. “Obviously, we all know we didn’t do one last year, but we did have a really successful Christmas parade that the village had allowed at Christmas and I think that went really well and can be used as a good example.”

Because of COVID restrictions, Rocque told the board the Legion would be looking to make the parade a COVID-safe event for all community members to attend. He said they would space out the parade route and having participants masked up.

“We would do our normal parade where we line up here at 10 o’clock and on Monday,” he said. “It falls on May 31 this year. We’d kick off somewhere around 11, go down Main Street, go up Clinton Street. We’ll stop there and put a wreath at the gun park.”

The parade will then make its way up Route 22 to Ross’s Chevy and then up Route 4 to Stewart’s and back down Williams Street. Attendees will be able to space themselves out over the mile-long route.

“Usually it’s about a 45-minute route from year to year,” Rocque said. “We’re going to ask the school’s band, the fire companies, Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, youth leagues as many people as we can to participate if they want to or if they’re able to.”

Rocque also requested Skenesborough Park to be used for a ceremony they will be putting on themselves for remembering the fallen. The remembrance ceremony will be open to the public and held after the parade not only at Skenesborough Park but also at the gun park.

“I don’t think we’ve ever really had, if you want to get technical about it, a congregation of 200 or more people,” he said. “They’re kind of spread along the parade route and our two highest congestion areas normally get a good amount of people down by Stewarts, I’ve never seen 200 there, we get a bunch down near Ross’s Chevy, and you might get a bunch up around Clinton (Street) and (Route) 22. But again, I’ve never seen more than 200.”

Rocque said that the event might have 200 net attendees, but is doesn’t mean that all 200 will be congregated in the same area. Not to mention, community members may keep their distance from others by staying in their vehicle or sitting on their porch to watch the parade. For the event after, Rocque said if people don’t feel comfortable attending, they don’t have to.

“I feel like we’re kind of safe and we can do all kinds of distancing,” he said.

Other Business:

  • Chief Bassett brought to the board that there will potentially be a new full-time position filled at the Village Police Department.
  • Whitehall will be having a Craft Fair in Skenesborough Park on May 15 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. with bands playing in the park during the evening hours. At 9 p.m. fireworks will be set off and community members looking to attend are asked to come masked and bring their own form of seating.