While many events have been forced to cancel and postpone this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, April Beatty made it her mission to put on a community fair on Sunday at Sugget Park in Cortland. Not only was she successful in the implementation of the event, she included aspects of social distancing to stop the spread of COVID-19 while making sure that the event was fun and inclusive.
“It was a high challenge, because of the pandemic”, said Beatty. “I think that with the group of organizers that I had behind me, we did a really great job accommodating and allowing people to have fun despite everything that’s going on.”
Attendees arrived and were greeted by volunteers that assisted Beatty with her head count due to the current COVID-19 group gathering restrictions. Once inside the event, people could swing a bat at water balloons, show off their athleticism in skills and drills activities with Caleb Wright (owner of Clocked In, a fitness training company), learn about science with Mr. Williams at his science station (Steve Williams owns Highkey Science), try to throw a ball at the target on the dunk tank with Mayor Brian Tobin and others hovering over the pool of water, an opportunity to meet elected officials, and more. The event went from 12pm-5pm, and Robby Petrella (owner of Brix Pubria) served chips, hot dogs, and drinks for free to the attendees.
Beatty wanted to thank her sponsors and all those who volunteered and donated to the event. She said that her volunteers stayed until 1am the night before the event to set-up, and they showed up the morning of the event to make sure that everything was completed before the event began. Overall, Beatty ended by saying that she hopes that life returns to normal and a social distancing fair doesn’t have to happen next year.