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Darlington cancels 2020 Independence Day festivities due to uncertainties surrounding coronavirus

The Darlington Lions Independence Day Committee announced Tuesday the cancellation of the planned 35th annual Darlington Independence Day Celebration that had been scheduled for Saturday, June 27.

“The State of Maryland continues to operate under the governor’s stay-at-home executive order and is limited to gatherings not exceeding 10 persons. While the governor has laid out the procedures for reopening the state, an implementation date of those procedures has not been set, but tied to 14-day declines in the rate of hospitalizations and patients in intensive care units,” the announcement states.

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“The ability to have a large social gathering or event is phase-three of the phased approach laid out by the governor and relies on meeting performance milestones as opposed to a set schedule. Thus, it is unclear if our event would be allowed in eight weeks.”

The Darlington Independence Celebration is supported by personal donations from the community and area businesses. Solicitations for funding are typically mailed in May.

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“While we are confident in the community’s desire to support the event it was felt unreasonable to request funds at a time when there were so many unknowns. In addition to the uncertainty associated with the ability to have a large public gathering in less than two months, there were also concerns over whether youth marching bands, scout troops and school groups would be able to participate. As a result, it was felt best to cancel the event in the interest of safety for all.”

The Darlington Lions Independence Day Committee said it looks forward to planning and hosting a 2021 celebration on June 26.

The community of Kingsville, which borders Harford and Baltimore counties, has also decided to cancel its traditional July 4 parade, according to the website www.kingsvilleparade.org.

“The enjoyment of the parade that each of us have experienced in the past is the result of weeks and months of planning with commitments necessary to develop before the actual event. This conclusion was made with ‘an abundance of caution’ regarding future restrictions,” the website states.

However, the committee is having discussions about “alternative ways for our community to celebrate,” Independence Day.

In Harford County, the communities of Bel Air, Havre de Grace and Edgewood/Joppatowne also host activities around the Fourth of July.

Michael Blum, the parade chairman and vice president of the Bel Air Independence Day Committee, so no decision had been made about festivities in Bel Air as of Tuesday.

“Like events of all sizes across the nation, we will follow federal, state, and local orders to ensure we do our part to protect the public’s health and well-being,” he said. “I don’t know if there is a line-in-the-sand timeline for making any decision.”

Messages to coordinators in Havre de Grace and Edgewood/Joppatowne were not immediately returned. No messages regarding updated plans for those communities have been posted on their respective websites or social media pages.

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