Hallowell summer recreation members take part in an Old Hallowell Day parade. Contributed photo

The Old Hallowell Day Committee on May 8 unanimously voted to cancel the city’s planned July 17 celebration. Except for last year, Old Hallowell Day has taken place on the third Saturday in July since 1968.

After consulting with city officials, law enforcement, and Hallowell’s Board of Health, the committee decided that the risk to public health and safety continues to be too great to resume Old Hallowell Day celebrations this summer.

“Nothing was easy about this decision. Last year we all missed celebrating together, catching up with old friends and neighbors, enjoying the live music and having fun,” said Laura Harper, Old Hallowell Day executive director, according to a news release from the committee. “But when it came down to it, no one felt comfortable with risking a possible COVID-19 outbreak while attending the parade, playing cribbage, or watching the fireworks.”

“How would we enforce safe social distancing?,” Harper continued. “The idea of doing this as a volunteer group, and the potential strain it could put on our city employees should crowds become unmanageable, was a deal breaker for the committee.”

Events have included a cribbage tournament, road race, bike ride, parade, arts and crafts festival, food court, baking contest, bocce tournament, as well as childrens’ activities, music at the city bandstand, and ends with a fireworks display over the river.

The association also honors Hallowell’s Citizen of the Year and the recipient of the Barry S. Timson Award in recognition of volunteerism, civic commitment and leadership in the city of Hallowell.

The Old Hallowell Day Committee looks forward to resuming Old Hallowell Day next year on July 15, 2022. In the meantime, the committee welcomes ideas for changes and improvements from the Old Hallowell Day Committee community. Those interested in sharing their thoughts or suggestions or would like to join the group, email oldhallowellday@gmail.com.


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