by Terry Rogers
Charles Gray, Chairman of the Milford Community Parade Committee, announced last week the cancellation of the 2020 parade. This is the second year the parade has been cancelled. In 2019, a rain and windstorm led to the cancellation of the parade the day before it was supposed to happen.
“The committee was anxiously and cautiously waiting for a positive outcome through the spring and early summer as a result of the worldwide and community effects of COVID-19,” Gray said. “The Milford community was, at one time, a hot spot for the spread of the disease. The health and well-being of our community was and always will be of utmost importance to the committee. In addition, the State of Delaware, under the leadership of Governor John Carney, has not moved to lift restrictions on public gatherings and additional requirements in time that the committee felt it was safe to successfully move forward with plans.”
Gray explained that planning for the parade each year, which brings thousands into downtown Milford, requires permits, resource allocation, as well as community investment in floats and costumes. He stated that the committee was very disappointed that they had to cancel for the second year in a row. Any donations collected or sponsorships received will now be used for the 2021 event.
“After having to cancel the 2019 parade due to threats of heavy wind gusts, the committee was very much looking forward to marching in 2020,” Gray said. “The committee will continue to honor the sponsors obtained in 2019 and in 2020 for the 2021 parade. The decision not to march in 2020 weighed heavily on the committee’s mind as the annual event is a time for families to share in tradition, provides community awareness of the many clubs and activities the community supports, a reunion of long-standing friends as well as a time to share a laugh, a smile and pride in a community everyone shares. I think we can all agree, we need a chance to lighten up, to enjoy each other’s company and enjoy the moment but the time is just not yet.”
The Milford Community Parade is held on the third Wednesday of October each year. The committee has chosen Wednesday, October 20, 2021 for the next parade and the committee will begin meeting in October 2020 to discuss the 2021 event. As for putting on a parade later in the year for Small Business Saturday or the holiday season, Gray stated that it would be a committee decision.
“As event coordinators, planning is critical to safety and success, they go hand-in-hand,” Gray said. “As the chairperson, I cannot rule out future opportunities to have a parade at a different time of the year. However, it is the committee’s decision and would be under the same time constraints for permitting and safety set forth by the state.”