Derby, Ansonia mayors plan to open their communities to some summertime events as COVID vaccination numbers grow

New Haven

ANSONIA, Conn. (WTNH) — The mayors of Derby and Ansonia tell News 8 they are planning to open up their communities to summertime events as the number of people getting vaccinated against COVID-19 grows.

Derby Mayor Richard Dziekan has a plan for it to feel like summer again in the Naugatuck Valley: “We’re in conversation right now with our committee for the Memorial Day Parade and we’re looking to get that up and running again.”

In Ansonia, Mayor David Cassetti has a list of summer events he’s planning for his city starting with Community Clean-Up Day next Saturday.

“I’m looking for volunteers – as many as I can get,” he said. “I have 150 so far.”

Other events include:

  • A Concert Day on June 10th — a full day of music in the city;
  • Drive-in Movie Nights every Saturday starting May 1st at Warsaw Park;
  • Harvest Fest in September.

“People for the last year have been dormant,” said Mayor Cassetti. “They haven’t done anything so I said, ‘let’s start the excitement. Let’s start having more activities.'”

Both mayors believe summer events can be safe as long as people follow the COVID-safety guidelines of wearing facemasks and practice social distancing. One key reason they’re giving the green light to these events — the number of people getting vaccinated.

“We’ve got over 2,000 people vaccinated since I started the vaccination clinics mid-February at The Armory,” said Mayor Cassetti.

“Everybody needs to get their vaccinations, keep our distances,” Mayor Dziekan said. “We’d like to get a little bit back to normal, see if we can…..Let’s do it safely and have a great time.”

One Ansonia resident News 8 spoke with told us it all sounds great but she says the city leaders may want to pump the brakes: “It’s way too soon,” she said.

New Haven Mayor Justin Elicker agrees, telling News 8 in a text: “We are still reviewing summer events based on COVID case counts and how vaccination efforts are going. We’ll be making a more firm decision later in the spring.”

Meriden Mayor Kevin Scarpati sent this statement: “Some of our city departments and community groups are starting to plan several outdoor events. We just had an outdoor Easter event hosted by our Parks Department. Other events will include outdoor markets, concerts, and school musicals.”

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