Darn this COVID-19. It’s created a pandemic globally sickening millions and killing hundreds of thousands; destroyed economies worldwide leaving millions unemployed, and closed businesses and upended schools.
And now this.
For the first time in its nearly half-century history, the popular Southampton Days festival celebrating July 4th with fireworks, a parade and week-long fair, will not take place this year due to COVID-19.
The 49th annual event was set for June 29 to July 4 along Second Street Pike and in Tamanend Park in Southampton. The Southampton Days Committee running the fete made its “unfortunate” and “disappointing” decision May 14, it said, because the virus that has sickened thousands and killed hundreds in Bucks County remains a threat.
“Due to all the restrictions surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, we felt canceling was the best decision for the community, even though we are all very disappointed,” said Stephanie Miller, vice chairman, Southampton Days Committee. “It’s the first time Southampton Days has ever had to be canceled in its entirety. We held off on the decision as long as we could.”
The event was to include, as it does every year, a morning parade along Second Street Pike ending at Tamanend Park which traditionally hosts amusement rides, games, food, and concert and entertainment shows. The fireworks display was set for July 4 in Tamanend.
Southampton Days was started by resident Sam Costantini, who headed the Committee for many years. In an interview with Sam before he died several years ago, I learned how much time and muscle the Committee puts out.
“We start on the next one in September and meet monthly,” he said, then explaining the extensive work involved to build the next festival.
Setting aside this year’s Southampton Days was the right move. Disappointing, for certain, but it will be back stronger than ever. Said Miller: “We will now celebrate our 49th year in 2021 and the theme will be ‘Small Town USA.’”
Reappearance of the festival next year also could be titled, "Reopened and Ready to Go."