|Northern Berkshires Cancels Fall Foliage Parade, Fall Events|
|05:01PM / Wednesday, July 29, 2020|
|The Drury band marches down Main Street last year. This year's October parade has been canceled. |
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — It's official: the 65th annual Fall Foliage Parade is off, along with a host of other fall gatherings.
The fate of the parade, usually held the first Sunday in October, has been up in the air for some time. The summer events in North Berkshire were canceled because of the pandemic months ago, including the Susan B. Anthony celebration in Adams, the Downtown Celebration in North Adams and Fresh Grass at Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art.
"Every decision we have made in the interest of protecting public health and public safety in response to the COVID-19 pandemic comes at a cost to our community," said North Adams Mayor Thomas Bernard. "Whether it's summer events, Fourth of July fireworks, or now the Fall Foliage Parade and other fall traditions in the Northern Berkshires I share everyone's disappointment at canceling events that mean so much to our community.
"I know we all will miss the floats, the great school marching bands, and the chance to see our friends and neighbors along the parade route, but I also look forward to seeing that energy and spirit on display next year when North Adams hosts our next parade!"
In a statement, the city, 1Berkshire and ProAdams said they had made a collective decision to cancel the 2020 Fall Foliage Parade, Greylock Ramble, and RambleFest events.
"The volunteers of ProAdams are disappointed that we will not be able to continue these traditions in 2020," said ProAdams co-Chairman Raymond Gargan. "However, we will continue to market Adams and Northern Berkshire as a great place to enjoy our beautiful fall foliage season. We look forward to bringing these events back in 2021."
Officials said because of restrictions in place to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, it would not be possible for the 65th Fall Foliage Parade along with the 53rd Greylock Ramble and 9th annual RambleFest to take place this October in a way that ensures the safety of residents, visitors, and participants.
"Combined, these cherished annual events have the potential to draw over 20,000 participants across the Northern Berkshires," according to the statement. "In the interest of our communities, canceling these events for 2020 made the most sense for the city and town as well as for the organizers and attendees."
Northern Berkshire officials say the region is still welcoming. If residents and visitors adhere to the safety precautions and social distancing guidelines they can enjoy the natural beauty, culture, and cuisine offered in the region each fall. Each organization is looking forward to the fall of 2021, when they can once again bring these beloved events back to the community.
"It is disappointing for this region of the Berkshires, but a necessary decision. While we're encouraged by the return of many important activities in our region, these popular events simply cannot be done responsibly in the current social distancing world that we reside," said 1Berkshire President & CEO Jonathan Butler. "We're hopeful that 2021 will return these traditions in even bigger and better ways."