(WYTV) – This Fourth of July looks different for many across the Valley and our community, but that didn’t stop people from celebrating and honoring the workers on the frontlines of COVID-19.
Most Fourth of July celebrations aren’t happening this year because of COVID-19, such as the Canfield Fourth of July Parade.
“When I was told, ‘Hey, the parade’s canceled,’ I said, nah, I’m making my float,” said Terry “Dr. Cardboard” Smith of Canfield.
Terry Smith is known to some as Dr. Cardboard. For about 25 years, he has always made his floats out of cardboard.
“My theme is always entertain the kids, so my health workers are now LEGO people, and I hope everybody enjoys it and gets time to pass by here,” Smith said.
Smith decided to honor the workers on the frontlines of COVID-19, but he used LEGOs characters to make his display something everyone can enjoy.
“It’s just a message that, hey, there’s other people out there working hard, and they miss their homes because they have to stay at work and things like this because of the virus, and it’s just saying, hey, thanks,” Smith said.
Over in Salem at Guilfod Lake, their annual boat parade chose the same theme.
“It’s just a way for us to show our gratitude for all of those who have worked through this whole ordeal and got us through this, and they’re our heroes,” said Susan Thomas who works with the Guilford Lake Boat Parade.
Thomas says they’re lucky to still have their celebration continue as usual, because at one point, they weren’t sure that would happen.
“Initially, we were thinking in the first stages of this pandemic that we weren’t going to have it,” Thomas said.
They eventually made the decision not to cancel because there weren’t many changes they’d need to make.
Families on their boats could easily social distance, and spectators had plenty of room around the lake to stay six feet apart.
“It just actually worked out really well, and everybody in the community was really happy that we decided to have it,” Thomas said.
Both Smith and Thomas say they are thankful they’re able to do something to help people celebrate the Fourth, knowing that everyone’s life has been affected in some way by the pandemic.