Unless Gov. Gretchen Whitmer says otherwise, there will be a holiday celebration in Colon this summer.
Pam Gilbert, president of Colon Area Chamber of Commerce, said planning for the village’s annual Fourth of July celebration is continuing.
Gilbert said it’s easier to keep planning and cancel if circumstances warrant than it is to not plan and decide last minute to have a celebration after all.
“We think our town’s going to need it, we think a lot of people are going to need it,” Gilbert said. “The planning has to continue. You can change your plans at the last minute, but you can’t plan a Fourth of July (celebration) at the last minute. It just can’t happen like that.”
Gilbert said the chamber of commerce will be forced to respond accordingly if Whitmer has not eased restrictions regarding the size of public gatherings by July 4. Still, Gilbert is optimistic Colon will be able to continue its popular Independence Day tradition.
Gilbert, emphasizing it’s her opinion and not necessarily shared by the Chamber, said she can’t see how one person decides whether or not a state should be able to celebrate its country’s 244 years of independence.
“We’re not a bunch of toddlers and I think people who are scared, still are very concerned and need to protect themselves, they won’t come … they just won’t put themselves in that position, which is what they should do,” Gilbert said. “We’ll have the people that just want to get out and do something but will take care who they’re around, how close they’ll get and they’ll wear a mask. They’ll be smart about it.”
As owner of Gilbert’s Shell in Colon, Gilbert said has seen most people are respectful of the space between others. She expects people taking part in Colon’s Fourth of July celebration will continue to exercise similar caution.
Gilbert said she assumes the village’s 2020 Fourth of July event will be different from past years. For starters, there will be hand-sanitizer stations in abundance. Also, some traditional attractions probably won’t be part of the gathering.
For example, there likely won’t be a bouncy house due to it being an enclosed space. An inflatable water slide might be a better option, she said.
The parade also could be different, due to some groups choosing not to participate or others not typically a part of the procession deciding to join at the last minute. There may not be a king, queen and court, since Colon High School students are not in class to vote on the royalty.
However, games overseen by Colon High School athletes to benefit the district’s sports teams would proceed, Gilbert said.
Constantine village officials said last month they, too, plan to hold a Fourth of July celebration in their community.