Show up and support revived community events

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Summer is back! And so are our community festivals. Take part and show your support.

After last year’s closures and cancellations due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many of us are eager to get out and celebrate.

With Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s recent announcement to start loosening COVID-19 restrictions, city officials and representatives of Rome Rotary Club are bringing back the Honor America Days celebration and CanalFest this summer.

So this year, with what appears to be the beginning of a return to normalcy, let’s not take these community events for granted.

Hours and hours of planning and preparation by dozens — if not hundreds — of volunteers are what make these events possible. Even on short notice, when we all were unsure of what 2021 would bring in the early part of the year, community groups were planning events with numerous scenarios in mind to bring them back after a summer of quarantine.

It’s not easy to stage these events in any year. But reviving them after a hiatus complicates the commitment even further. It takes more work, more time, more money and more help to put these events on after a year of shutdown. If you can’t volunteer to help, you can attend to make these revived events a success.

Mayor Jacqueline M. Izzo and Rome Area Chamber of Commerce President William K. Guglielmo said the Honor America Days Pops Concert and fireworks will be presented at 8 p.m. Saturday, July 31, on the lawn of Fort Stanwix National Monument.

After more than a year of scaled-back and socially-distanced life, make it a point to get out this summer and get together again with your community. And don’t forget to thank the organizers and countless volunteers that make it happen.

“With last week’s announcement of the loosening of state coronavirus restrictions, we have been working diligently to revive the Pops Concert and fireworks,” said Izzo.

“Symphoria returns as our presenting orchestra to be followed by a patriotic fireworks show.”

The city is also working with Rome Art Association on a porch decorating contest event open to the entire community. Izzo said details will follow.

“Unfortunately, the short time frame does not allow us enough lead time to properly plan the annual parade, but the parade will return bigger and better than ever in 2022,” the mayor said.

Meanwhile, Stephen Mercurio, president of Rome Rotary Club, said the lifting of all COVID-19 restrictions for outdoor gatherings was the single largest impediment standing in the way of the Rotary holding its annual CanalFest event Aug. 6-8.

Mercurio said local residents can once again take part in the three days of fun in Bellamy Harbor Park.

Ontario Rides will be back with its colorful midway; there will be entertainment on the City Stage; and Chimos Catering will provide a variety of fun foods including fried dough, burgers, fries, pizza and ice cream, Mercurio said.

Non-vaccinated attendees will be requested to wear masks in compliance with state health guidance. Attendance is free, but Rotarians will be at the gates to receive voluntary donations ($1 suggested).

Have fun.

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