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Events canceled in 2020 due to pandemic are returning with a twist

Published: Mar. 3, 2021 at 10:57 PM CST
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - Many events canceled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic were looking to make a comeback in 2021.

At a typical SaPaDaPaSo, people would be dancing in the streets, throwing candy to kids, and meeting people they may have never know, but not this year. The parade will be a drive-through event.

“We made a tough decision this year to do a drive-by parade,” said SaPaDaPaSo Committee President Lisa Dalziel. “We felt it was better than nothing.”

Dalziel said the event would be held at Hawkeye Downs. People would drive their vehicles around to the festive floats. She said the number of people who have signed up for a place was down from years prior.

The Starlighters II Theatre in Anamosa also made the tough decision last year to cancel its show, “How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying.” The stage has been set for a year.

“We were practicing multiple nights a week,” said Emily Burds, one of the Marketing Committee members and cast in the show. “That included vocal rehearsals, script rehearsals, and we were running through everything.”

The show was canceled weeks away from opening night. Burds said they were trying to cast members at the end of March to try and have the event in June. She said about 50% of the original cast had not come back.

“I think a lot of people maybe were just not comfortable coming and volunteering for extracurricular activities,” she said.

While events like these started making a comeback, health leaders, including the Linn County Department of Public Health said despite vaccinations happening in the area, people should still practice safety precautions. Both event organizers said they were doing so. It added a unique feel as the pandemic pushes past a full year.

“Rehearsals will be done in smaller groups, and smaller numbers early until everybody was ready to get integrated,” said Burds.

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