DARLINGTON, Md. — It is a small piece of Americana, and news that the small town of Darlington would not be turning out to celebrate the nation’s birthday will disappoint many of its 400 townspeople.
“I think it’s very sad in the sense that the locals look forward to it,” said Tamara Rogers. “A lot of people have cook outs and stuff, invite their friends and family. It’s a big ordeal here.”
But Lions Club Event Organizer Larry Burton says it was a much bigger ordeal trying to navigate the pandemic, the governor’s stay at home order and the state’s projected plan to re-open when its adding to its COVID-19 case total every day.
“There are so many unknowns right now,” said Burton. “Realize we had 90 percent of the preparation completed. We start six months prior to the event to line up road closures, deputy support, show mobiles, the fireworks contract, et cetera so we had been working towards this and no one is more disappointed that us.”
Youth marching bands? Scout troups? School groups?
Burton says there was no guarantee any of them would be able to participate.
Plus, the organizing committee depends on local businesses to donate about a third of the cost of the celebration, and many of them are struggling under the executive order.
That’s why the organizers ruled out trying to salvage the fireworks, if nothing else.
“They’re probably being more paranoid, especially for the fireworks,” said Rogers. “The parade? We do sort of line up on the street and the kids are everywhere. It’s a little more hustle bustle.”
Organizers are hoping everyone will come back June 26th, 2021 for an event that’s supposed to be even bigger and better than the one that’s been canceled.