TEWKSBURY — Last week, it was announced that Tewksbury Memorial Day festivities, including the annual parade and traditional ceremony at Tewksbury Cemetery, would be cancelled. This cancellation decision comes as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
As of May 10, 2020, there have been 414 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 26 resulting deaths in Tewksbury.
Tewksbury Selectmen Mark Kratman said the town put in the request to host the parade as usual, with the hope circumstances would have improved in time for the event to occur. He then specified that the state’s current social-distancing measures and restrictions on large gatherings were the cause of the event’s ultimate cancellation.
The town’s request to hold the parade on Route 38, a state road, was denied. Currently, the Massachusetts state government prevents gatherings larger than 10 people in an effort to prevent the spread of the virus. Currently, the order is set to remain in effect until May 18, but large gatherings, such as the Memorial Day Parade, are expected to not be permitted for a longer time period, lasting past Memorial Day.
Though no plans have been set yet, the Tewksbury VFW is working alongside town officials to craft a ceremony that complies to social-distancing guidelines. A possible solution is a ceremony broadcasted live on Tewksbury Telemedia.
No definite details regarding the potential ceremony have been finalized and released as of late; information will likely be shared in the coming weeks.