After Great Bend announced there would be no Party in the Park and Hoisington said the Labor Day Parade was canceled, one Barton County resident lamented, “summer is over!”
The COVID-19 pandemic has left us feeling isolated and cheated, and Zoom meetings are no replacement for spending time with our friends.
Maybe it’s not the right time to hug a pal or sing in a group or stand shoulder to shoulder with strangers in an arena or along a parade route, but there must be some creative alternatives if we set our minds to it.
In Topeka, the 2020 Fiesta Mexicana was canceled but its organizers were still able to hold a fundraiser with a Taste of Fiesta Parade in front of Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church last Saturday. This was a drive-by parade. As described by the Topeka Capital-Journal, “A steady stream of vehicles went past, with each stopping briefly so occupants could hand donations by cash or check to Fiesta committee members who stood at the curb wearing masks. Donors were asked not to get out of their vehicles.”
A DJ played tunes and the donors received a souvenir and a voucher for $5 off any purchase from a church booth at next year’s Fiesta.
Maybe the folks who are planning the Hoisington Labor Day celebration for Sept. 4-7 or the Together as a Community We Stand United Parade and beer garden for Sept. 26 should also look for creative alternatives. They could check with the organizers of this year’s Ellinwood After Harvest Festival, who focused on low-risk ways to have fun, such as the fishing derby.
Or, they can talk to the organizers of this year’s Relay for Life of Barton County, taking place this Sunday from 5-11 p.m. on the south side of the courthouse. They promise to have hand sanitizers and social distancing, and they’ll skip the free meal for cancer survivors, although there will be food vendors on site.
The Mayo Clinic lists several low-risk outdoor activities, including walking, running, hiking and biking. Low-risk social activities outdoors include picnics, farmers markets, gatherings with friends and drive-in movies. Just remember, if you can’t maintain social distance from others, wearing a face mask is recommended. Plan activities that don’t require close contact, but remember, well-being also includes doing things that make life worth living.