NEWTOWN TOWNSHIP >> It was a rainy day in Newtown, but that didn’t stop the employees from the Newtown Athletic Club from presenting a memorable character parade..
On Friday afternoon, the facility invited families to drive through the facility's large parking lot to see the employees dressed up as their favorite TV, book and movie characters.
Expecting between 100 to 300 local families to show up, they ended up getting 1,300 RSVPs to the event. Lines backed up from the entrance to the facility down Penns Trail, Newtown Bypass, Pheasant Run, and more.
They started the parade 30 minutes early and kept going after the original 1 p.m. end time so as many families as possible could get out and enjoy the parade.
Families waved out of the windows as the passed their favorite characters.
There were superheroes up on the roof (one played by the owner Jim Worthington as Captain America), a line of social distanced superheroes working out and dancing, Spider man in a Frontend Loader tractor spraying silly string, princesses waving and saying hello along the street, and various childhood TV show characters.
They even brought in DJ Eric Scott Gold from the East Coast Event Group who spun tunes for the kids to dance and move around as they drove by.
And as a grand finale, NAC employee Melissa Wald, stationed in front of a Newtown Fire Association truck, held up a sign that read, “Honk for the Real Life Heros.”
Even when the rain picked up, the employees kept going entertaining the kids.
Social Distancing has been tough for families, especially children. People need to feel a connected to society. Video calling has helped many, but doesn’t fill the void of direct human interaction. Events like this one show just how desperate families are to feel connected and a part of society again.
One commenter on Facebook noted how she felt “normal” thanks to the experience.
One advantage to social distancing parades is the families become the floats and parade itself. Instead of cheering for the floats, their favorite characters are cheering for the families. Opportunities like this are becoming more commonplace and necessary in this quarantined society. Even social media is exploding with content of drive by events by communities across the world.
Drive by events and social distancing parades are just one way we can keep together as a community in these discouraging times.
It was a successful day in Newtown. Despite the rain and cold weather, the families were happy and finally got to experience something outside in a social and safe environment. The next question is, "Who’s throwing the next social distancing parade?"