Rockford United Labor has canceled the Labor Day parade due to concerns over the coronavirus.
This will be the first time in the parade’s 66-year run that it is altogether canceled. Jay Ferraro, who is a delegate on the Labor Day Committee, says that putting together a parade in the middle of the ongoing pandemic felt impossible.
“It's unfortunate but with what's going on, not only in Rockford, but worldwide we just don't think it's a good idea to continue with the fray this year," said Ferraro. "And we're looking out for our members in the community.”
The statement put out by the Rockford United Labor executive board says that there are plans to find another meaningful way to commemorate Labor Day. Ferraro says that in place of the parade, the unions are planning to put together a day of service.
“We are, however, in the stage right now of planning a community day," said Ferraro, "where the citizens and the union members can come out and and people can pick up food because of the crisis that we're in right now with many families going hungry.”
Ferraro says the plans are still in the works, but that Rockford United Labor is hoping to schedule their community day the weekend of Labor Day.
Juanpablo Ramirez-Franco is a 2020 corps member for Report for America, an initiative of the GroundTruth Project which is a national service program that places talented journalists in local newsrooms.