LOWER MAKEFIELD >> The township has announced the cancellation of Community Day due to ongoing issues with COVID-19.
The popular end of summer event, scheduled for August 29, typically includes a full day of outdoor activities, from community booths, kiddie rides and live entertainment to food, games, a celebrity dunk tank, fireworks and more.
Monica Tierney, the township’s director of parks and recreation, announced her recommendation to cancel the event at the July 1 meeting of the board of supervisors and in a letter to the community posted on the township’s social media page.
“We simply cannot offer any version of the event that people have come to expect,” wrote Tierney. “Community Day takes a considerable amount of planning and attracts a large crowd - 4,000 to 6,000 people each year. We have reviewed several different scenarios, but none would meet the expectations we have set for several years.”
After exploring several possibilities, Tierney told the supervisors that the department is unable to offer any version of the event that follows the guidelines set forth in Gov. Wolf’s orders “nor do we know if we will be in the green, yellow or red phase at the time.
“We also don’t necessarily have use of the school fields and most fireworks shows in the area are cancelled. Then if we do have fireworks people will come from out of town more than ever because everyone is looking for something to do,” said Tierney.
“While it is disappointing that we are cancelling Community Day, it has been great to watch my staff come up with new and creative ways to operate in this COVID-19 environment,” she wrote in her letter. “I look forward to the many smaller events they have planned and the opportunity to partner with new groups and organizations as we prepare a new summer schedule.”
In place of Community Day, Tierney said the department is planning several smaller events to be held throughout the summer.
“This is a great way to bring the township together in a safe and manageable way,” remarked Tierney.
Among the events they have already received the approval of the Bucks County Department of Health are small car shows and drive-in movies.
“I also plan to review a small vendor fair at the end of August that will host many of the small businesses who have been struggling during the COVID-19 crisis,” wrote Tierney. “We also are looking into hosting drive-in concerts, a possible haunted trail event in the fall and a light up the park event in the winter.
“As long as we continue in the green phase we will continue to offer what we can to the public,” writes Tierney. “We will keep a close eye on the COVID-19 situation as we consider the remainder of our event season.”
During the supervisors meeting, board members also asked Tierney about this year’s September 11th observance scheduled to take place just a few weeks after Community Day.
The commemoration of the 9-11 terror attacks on New York City, Washington, D.C., and in the skies above western Pennsylvania, typically draw larger crowds to the Garden of Reflection at Memorial Park for morning and evening ceremonies.
Tierney said no decision has been made yet regarding the 9-11 ceremonies, but said the department is looking into different options, including doing it remotely or coming up with some kind of social distancing plan.
“I’m a little nervous about September 11th being on a Friday evening. Generally there’s more participation on a weekend. But I don’t have anything on that to report yet,” said Tierney.