First Selectmen: Memorial Day Parade, Waveny Fireworks Canceled 

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New Canaan’s highest elected official said Friday that the town is canceling two of its most cherished annual community events due to the COVID-19 virus public health emergency.

An “appropriate alternative ceremony” will be held Memorial Day instead of the parade, according to First Selectman Kevin Moynihan, and municipal leaders are taking suggestions on how to hold a safe alternative to the traditional July 4 fireworks at Waveny.

As of Sunday evening, 25 people in New Canaan had succumbed to coronavirus disease, officials said.

“We grieve for these losses and our thoughts and prayers are with their families,” Moynihan said.

The news of cancellations came days after local leaders reopened public parks for trail-walking only, and as the community pursues what Moynihan called the “measured and disciplined reopening of our local economy.” 

Gov. Ned Lamont last week sketched out a plan that would see businesses including “nonessential” retail shops, salons and outdoor areas at restaurants reopen as long as coronavirus disease hospitalizations decline, more testing is made available and a program for contact tracing is established.

Moynihan said, “We are beginning to see light at the end of the tunnel.”

Members of the volunteer committee that organizes the annual Family Fourth said during a special meeting last week that a safe alternative to the traditional fireworks event—for example, where families drive to Waveny and New Canaan High School to park and watch the show—may not be feasible, given evidence that certain attendees would ignore restrictions.

Moynihan said, “I am thankful to all of our residents for your patience and cooperation in abiding by the governor’s stay-at-home order and for learning social distancing and wearing masks to protect others when out in public when social distancing may not be possible.”

This year, New Canaan will mark its first Memorial Day in years without Peter Langenus. The Vietnam War and Desert Storm veteran died Jan. 17. An organizer and fixture at Memorial and Veterans Day ceremonies, Langenus had served as commander of VFW Post 653.

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