WESTMINSTER — Traditionally on the first weekend in November Westminster Cares invites the community to honor those residents in town who are 90 years and older. This year, however, nothing is traditional. A crowded indoor gathering is not allowed and certainly not deemed safe. So Westminster Cares is taking a different approach, inviting everyone in the community to participate in a "drive-by" celebration and parade on Saturday, Sept. 26, from 2 to 2:30 p.m.
Guests of honor will be lined up (in their cars) along the back parking lot of the Westminster Institute stretching to the parking lot of the Fire Station.
Westminster currently has 13 residents who are 90 years of age or older: Dot Allen, Phyllis Anderson, Charlotte Kurkul, Judith Berkley, Jo(anne) Crocker, Bob Gay, Ben Hutchins, Barbara Holton (lives in Florida), Lee MacDuffie, Libby Mills, Ruth Morse, Lois Woodward, and joining this esteemed group are Pauline Kissell and Bill Smidutz.
Organizers couldn't decorate the Fire House, but participants can decorate their cars Add balloons, streamers, make signs to send greetings to the town's elders. Although it's fine to slow down your car to greet each guest of honor, organizers are asking that everyone remain in their cars. If you need to exit the car for any reason, remember that masks and social distance are required.
At 2:30 p.m., following the drive-by, the guests of honor will be led in a short parade down Main Street, making a loop in their cars as they head south on Route 5, back up to School Street, turning around in the WCS parking lot and returning back to Main Street. Those residents who live along Main and School streets are encouraged to come out, wave and give a shout-out. If you park in a lot and stand along a street to wave, remember to wear a mask and keep 6-foot social distance.
In order not to interfere with traffic along Route 5, those who arrive early are asked to line up in the parking lot of the First Congregational Church on Route 5 as the Westminster Institute parking lot will be closed from 1 to 2 p.m. for set-up.
In case of bad weather, the rain date is Sunday, Sept. 27.
Westminster Cares, a local community-based volunteer organization started in 1988, works with seniors and disabled adults in town to help them remain healthy and independent in the community. Volunteers deliver meals, visit those who appreciate some company, and help with rides to the grocery store and appointments. For more information, call the Westminster Cares office at 722-3607.