Interim Tribune Editor
The Town of Niagara announced a number of event cancellations this week, including some related to wintertime festivities. The cancellations were announced via the following message, which was posted to the town’s website earlier this week:
A Message to Our Residents, Businesses and Neighbors,
As you are all aware, the Coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic has taken its toll on every form of government, business and individual throughout our country. I can think of no other event in modern history that has had such a devastating impact on our entire globe simultaneously.
Throughout this epic event, the Town of Niagara must and will continue to place the health and safety of our constituents and neighbors as our number one priority. Therefore it is with a heavy heart that we are forced to cancel our plans for the following fall/winter events:
√ Noel at Niagara Opening Night Ceremony ONLY (Scheduled for 11/21)
(The actual lighting of Veterans Park will take place, but without an opening night ceremony)
√ Noel at Niagara Electric Lights Parade Scheduled for November 21st, 2020
√ Veterans Appreciation Dinner November 12th, 2020
√ Senior Holiday Luncheon December 8th, 2020
This decision was not made lightly, as many participants and spectators look forward to this festive event. However, holding a large public gathering during the current COVID-19 environment would be unsafe and irresponsible. We anticipate a return of all programs, events and activities for 2021 and we thank you for your understanding.
Please stay safe and stay positive, together we will get through these difficult times.
The message was initially posted on the town’s Facebook page, as well, but was taken down some time during the week. During Tuesday’s Town Board meeting, Supervisor Lee Wallace addressed the matter, alluding to negative comments directed at town officials.
“Most of the decisions that we have made in this town related to COVID-19, I’ve struggled with,” Wallace said. “You never know for sure when you should come back and when you shouldn’t. But our No. 1 priority is always, and always will be, the safety and welfare of our residents. There are people out there who don’t believe that this is real, or it’s not as bad as it is. And then there are people who are petrified. …
“We had every intention of restarting the Electric Light Parade this year, but due to not just COVID-19, but financial constraints and the fact that we couldn’t get much commitment from other people, we had to postpone that. We will still have the Noel Niagara lights, but there will be no opening night ceremony. It’s unfortunate, but we really don’t have a choice and we have to err on a side of caution.
“And it’s unfortunate … that some folks think it’s necessary to go on Facebook and make outlandish statements about things that they have no concept of.
“It’s not easy to do these jobs. Anybody would like to try, I welcome you to do it.”