WHITMAN — After a year of social distancing and limiting association with people outside of immediate households, Americans are sufficiently vaccinated to permit a return to traditional Fourth of July plans this year.
As 2021 began, however, that was not a given, said Recreation Commission member Michelle LaMattina.
“Kathleen Woodward is the new Recreation director and we’re trying to get things back on track after COVID last year,” she said.
On Sunday, July 4, the town’s traditional Independence Day celebration will take place in Whitman Park from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
From carriage and biycle parades to field games and races, music, activities — including those planned by the Whitman Public Library, inflatable games and more. Boy Scout troop/Pack 22 and Sweetie’s Shaved Ice will be selling food and the town pool (for Whitman residents only) will be open until 1 p.m. See graphic on page 3 for full schedule.
LaMattina said that once the Board of Health gave its approval for a July 4 program, the committee knew they were up against the clock.
“But I think the Fourth of July is something that everybody in town loves and it would be missed if we don’t do it,” she said. “We put it together as quick as we could.”
She said next year, the committee may try to make it bigger and better, but for now, just continuing the tradition is meaningful.
“The Recreation Department is active and we’re trying to keep things moving forward,” she said.
Residents will also be able to sign up for the remaining camp openings at the event.
LaMattina said there may have been disappointment at the cancellation last year, but suggested that people recognized it as a reality of the times.
“We’re hoping for a good crowd and [that] people are back and excited to go,” she said. She said the outdoor event may help some residents feel more comfortable attending.
Sponsors include Whitman Police and Fire departments, DPW, Recreation Department, Library, Scout Troop 22 and Sweetie’s Shaved Ice.