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Coronavirus Forcing Changes In Township’s Traditional Celebrations

The township’s Memorial Day parade is one of the social casualties of the coronavirus. (File photo.)

Celebrations for Memorial and Independence days will not look the same as they have in past years, a township official said April 28.

And while those celebrations will most likely be much different – if they’re held at all – residents who use the Naimann Williams pool may not be completely disappointed this summer, Township Manager Robert Vornlocker said during the Township Council’s virtual meeting.

With the social distancing requirements necessitated by the coronavirus, the traditional Memorial Day parade up DeMott Lane and services at Veterans Memorial Park will not happen, Vornlocker said.

“Given the type of events those two events are, we’re not gong to be able to have our usual parade and Memorial Day service,” he said.

Vornlocker said Bob LaCorte, who organizes the annual event, “is working with our recreation staff to provide for a virtual Memorial Day service on Memorial Day. Look to the web site and social media for information.”

As for Independence Day, Vornlocker said with the amount of work involved in putting that celebration together – a four-hour festival with music, vendors and information booths – “we don’t see how it’s practical for us to do all of the work involved for an event that may not be able to happen, given the social distancing and large crowds that gather.”

Vornlocker said he’s talked with the vendor who supplies the fireworks display, and “they have agreed to do the fireworks for a community wide event on any date that we should chose through January 1.”

“We are working diligently, staff in the recreation department is coming up with ideas,” Vornlocker said. “We may not have it on Independence Day, but we will be able to celebrate when all of this is over, we will be able to come together again.”

Vornlocker also said the township hasn’t “given up” on having a pool season at Naimann William Park this year.

“We hope to be able to at least have a partial season,” he said. “We’ll see how things progress in Franklin and the state as it relates to gatherings.”

“We’re compiling a list of available life guards that can staff the pool,” he said. “We have no plans to keep it closed for the entire season, but it will have to be taken on a day-to-day basis. We hope to have it open.”

Ditto for summer recreation camps, Vornlocker said.

The township recreation department is working with the Board of Education to come up with some form of summer camps, he said.

“It may be different than it has been in the past,” he said, adding that residents should monitor the township web site for more information.

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