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Events On A Lesser Scale Better Than No Events At All

We’re all ready for life to get back to normal.

COVID-19 is on its second year of laying waste to many traditional events and celebrations that thousands of us look forward to every year.

Organizers of the annual Scandinavian Folk Festival have said they are canceling the 2021 festival because of international travel restrictions for performers who were scheduled to take part but had to cancel travel plans. And, Chautauqua County Fair organizers are waiting for state guidance before they decide whether or not there can be a 2021 Chautauqua County Fair.

Lakewood officials have already said publicly they don’t believe the village can hold its annual fireworks display because it is nearly impossible to make people be socially distant in Richard O. Hartley Park.

It’s worth noting the tact taken over the Easter holiday weekend by the Chautauqua Children’s Safety Education Village and the city of Jamestown. Neither was able to hold the type of children’s Easter event they held nearly every year before 2020, but both were able to hold some type of events that got families out of the house. The Easter Bunny was there and candy was given out. Both the safety village and city came to the proper conclusion, in our view, that events on a lesser scale than everybody is used to are better than no events at all.

While we understand Lakewood’s conundrum, it’s worth the time for village officials to take a second look at the fireworks to see if there is a way to celebrate the Fourth of July without the traditional trappings a Fourth of July in Lakewood usually entails. For example, could the village have its fireworks as Mayville did last year, when the village canceled the daylong events in Mayville’s Lakeside Park but still had a fireworks that people could watch from their cars or homes?

It may turn out that having fireworks in Lakewood is too expensive given that no holiday festival was held in 2020 to raise money for the 2021 show. Would village residents donate for a fireworks-only show? In our view, rather than cancel the event, it’s worth the Lakewood Village Board having a public discussion of a scaled-down festival.

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