SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — An over-75-year-old annual three-day-weekend event here in Springfield was canceled.
KOLR10’s Frances Lin reports Park Day and the organizers’ decision to cancel it this year.
Every summer, Silver Springs Park is filled with families, kids, over 1,000 people in the span on three days for Park Day.
But this year, it had to be canceled because of COVID-19.
“I’m saddened by it,” said Patricia Looney, vice president of the Springfield Reunion Club, “it’s something that I’ve looked forward to for years.”
“It’s what makes my stomach hurt,” said Nora England, “it does, you don’t know how sad I am.”
Members of the Springfield Reunion Club told KOLR10’s Frances Lin what park day was like.
“This year, it would have been at doubletree,” said England.
“Silver springs park was always a part of my life. And Park Day and the fourth of July was always something that we look forward to. Reunion time, people got together, had a good time, all the hugging, handshaking, giving, shucking, that was it,” Looney said.
“Park Day’s been going on since 1951 or 1952, or something around that area,” said Sidney Needem, treasurer of the Springfield Reunion Club.
England said people come from all over the country, “they come from Texas, California, Arizona, New York, Detroit. They come from everywhere. Anybody who has ever lived here before, they come back for the reunion.”
And it was a tough decision to cancel it this year.
“They don’t know who has it, who hasn’t got it,” said Needem.
“To do park day, it’s just not sensible, not practical,” explained Looney, “everything’s up in the air, and it changes daily. So we don’t know what to do, we don’t want to put anybody in jeopardy. We don’t want to see anybody hurt, and the distancing that needs to be done, there’s no way we can do that.”
But they hope to see everyone back at Park Day next year.
Needem said, “put those dates on your calendar, next year, August 6, 7, and 8, I think those are the dates, come on down, and have a good time.”