Oriskany, NY - Local towns and villages have been holding waving parades to honor first responders and bring cheer to their communities.
The Oriskany Fire Department was set to put on a waving parade for residents to thank first responders who are on the front lines fighting the coronavirus pandemic but just about 30 minutes before the second, weekly waving parade was set to kick-off, the fire chief received a call saying that the parade has been canceled.
In his daily briefing Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente, denounced the continuation of all parades saying,
“I can't condone the parades. My concern about the parade of any type it's just that it gives people that false sense of security. It's going to do exactly what we don't want right now especially as we are at this peak. I cannot condone it. I’m asking people as nicely as I can, to stay at home, work through social media, contact the best way you can. Whatever type of group it is that wants to do good things, do that the best you can without gathering people around in any way, shape or form.”
Parades like Oriskany Fire department's where they say residents would be able to wave without even leaving their homes and a chance to breathe a sense of normalcy into the community.
“We gave the kids something to look forward to throughout the day so during the day to doing the homeschooling for doing all that parents are home with the kids trying to take care of all of that it's different it's not normal so we were just trying to bring back a little something of a saying 'hey were out here we're still paying attention to what you guys are doing'. We appreciate everybody who's taking the time staying home and taking all the precautions,” states Oriskany Fire Department Chief, Jeff Burkhart.
He adds the parade would've also helped train new members of the fire department and use the equipment.
“It also gives us an opportunity to exercise fire equipment, which its very important to move these big trucks, and we also have a lot of new members who don't know all the streets in our district. So, this gives us an opportunity to help train them so if there's an emergency tomorrow they know how to get to that road.”
Burkhart says that he had a lot more ideas to bring cheer to the community and they’re going to continue to take things day by day like everyone else during the pandemic.
“We're going to judge it week to week and figure out what we can do/what we can't do and obviously as time progresses figure out more about how things are being restricted and loosened up as far as regulations go.”