The most fun month in Charlestown has been postponed, and the greatest holiday parade in the Town is looking at all options on whether to move ahead this coming June – both groups making those moves in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Arthur Hurley, chair of the Battle of Bunker Hill Parade Committee, told the Patriot-Bridge on Wednesday that he is carefully assessing the situation this month as to whether or not to go forward with the June 14 parade. It would be the first time in modern memory that it could perhaps be canceled – certainly the first time in a century that it could be canceled due to a pandemic.
He said there were a lot of things to consider, and too many things right now that are unknown.
“Right now we’re waiting until the end of the month to see how things are, which is only three weeks away,” he said. “If we have to take more measures and the state extends the order into June, then we have to cancel. Right now, we’ll wait until the end of the month.”
Hurley said one big complication is that all of the bands that march had been contracted in January, as that is the normal time to book for a June parade. There was also concern about the high school JROTC marchers, and whether they would even be in school at the time. Likewise, the large military presence that adorns the Parade (it is a military parade first and foremost) might have other more important matters to tend to than the Parade in June.
All of that is left to consider, he said.
In Dorchester, the Dorchester Day Parade Committee, which holds a parade the week before on June 7, announced late Tuesday they would cancel.
“It is never an easy decision to cancel an event but we feel this is the best and safest decision for us to protect the health and safety of our committee members, participants and neighbors,” read a statement from the Dorchester Day Parade Committee, as reported by the Dorchester Reporter.
Meanwhile, the massive Charlestown Pride Week (which is really nearly two weeks’ of events) held by the Bunker Hill Associates announced they will postpone their celebrations – including the popular Bunker Hill Day Breakfast – until the fall.
President Maureen Collier, Vice President Jimmy Lister and Past President Kim Mahoney made the announcement on Tuesday, just after they had spent an entire week mobilizing their organization to deliver groceries to the neediest senior citizens that were isolated at home.
“In my conversations around the neighborhood, the concern is if this continues on and everyone is being realistic, it is more important to be safe,” said Lister. “The indication is having group gatherings won’t come back right away. They’ll allow us to scale things up probably little by little. If we have a 300-person event like the breakfast, I don’t think the City would allow it anyway. We are committed to having it because we understand what it stands for. It’s unfortunate.”
Mahoney said they would likely do something in the fall, but that right now all of their membership is focused on trying to take care of the community.
“We are going to postpone Charlestown Pride Week, including the breakfast,” she said. “Anything put on by the Bunker Hill Associates is postponed until the fall. We had a vote also to extend Maureen and Jimmy’s term until 2021 as well…Our full efforts are focused on helping and supporting the community right now. Right now, we would be planning the breakfast and raising money for Charlestown Pride Week. However, now the focus has moved to supporting and helping the Town.”
All said there are no dates in mind right now for when to have the full schedule of events, but it would be decided in the coming months.