Will the New Bedford Feast Be the Same After COVID? [OPINION]
While vacationing over the weekend, news from home broke on the WBSM app on my phone: "New Bedford's Portuguese Feast Postponed." Damn! While the announcement was not surprising, it kind of was surprising. Does that make sense? I thought that "The Feast" might go on as planned but I was not surprised by the news that it won't.
The official Facebook page of The Feast of the Blessed Sacrament posted the announcement at 12:45 p.m. on Sunday, stating that this year’s Feast has been postponed to 2022. The response for many was disappointment and despair. The Feast, for many, is a reason to live! But more than that, the cancellation of the Feast means the COVID-19 pandemic isn't over yet and probably won't be over by August.
With so many folks receiving the COVID vaccine, I think the expectation was that we would be pretty much good to go by August. The hope for many was that outdoor events like the Feast would be able to resume this summer. People have asked what the purpose was of being vaccinated if outdoor gatherings would still be unsafe. That is a solid question. What was all of this for?
When the Feast was canceled last summer, it seemed like the logical thing to do. This year, I'm not so sure. With masks and limits on crowd size, I think it could have been done safely. Even if the event had to be downsized somewhat, it should have been held. The people need the Feast.
I worry that after a two-year absence, the Feast might never be the same as it was. I hope I am wrong.
Barry Richard is the host of The Barry Richard Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.