Annual Celebrate Amherst Block Party called off due to pandemic

  • North Pleasant Street during the annual Celebrate Amherst Block Party .   FILE PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

Staff Writer
Published: 7/10/2020 1:06:08 PM

AMHERST — An annual celebration that creates a pedestrian mall on the town’s main thoroughfare, and which serves as a welcome-back event for local college students, has been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Amherst Business Improvement District announced Thursday that the Celebrate Amherst Block Party, which would have been held in September for the ninth time, will not happen again until 2021 or at a time when it is safe.

BID Marketing Director Ann Tweedy said the sense was that even if infections remain low in this area into the fall, the public would want to remain cautious and likely avoid an event like the block party.

Though the state is in Phase 3 of reopening, an outdoor community event at this time could only accommodate 100 people and would require physically distancing people to a specific area. In addition, the town is also prohibiting live music and performances as part of its public health precautions.

The event would normally close North Pleasant Street to traffic through downtown, with booths set up by restaurants, stores, community organizations and others, as well as live bands, trapeze artists and various games.

Previously, both the Taste of Amherst and the Rotary Community Fair were called off due to the pandemic.

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