Better Days Ahead Parade Saturday

May 14, 2020 by

Published May 13, 2020

By DAN TOMASELLO

THE FRONT DOOR to Lynnfield High School senior Bryan Mallett’s home was decorated on May 9 in celebration of the Class of 2020. Mallett competed on the golf team this fall and is a highly respected up and coming filmmaker who is headed to Endicott College. (Courtesy Photo)

LYNNFIELD — There is always light at the end of the tunnel.

That is the underlying message of the Better Days Ahead Parade, which will take place on Saturday, May 16, beginning at 10 a.m. at Lynnfield Middle School.

Selectman Chris Barrett and local residents Gerry Noumi and Joel Steiner are organizing the parade. Steiner recalled that ongoing birthday parades for children and adults as well as the elementary schools’ parades have been joyful experiences for the community and have lifted countless spirits.

“COVID-19 has placed a lot of restrictions on our community that have limited people’s ability to come together,” said Steiner. “We have been looking for a way to celebrate together in a safe way. We thought the best way to do that would be hosting a parade.”

Barrett recalled that townspeople gathered on the Common for a candlelight vigil after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. He said the vigil helped himself and the community grieve, but said social distancing makes it impossible to hold a similar event to honor COVID-19 virus victims.

“These last two months have reminded me a lot of how I felt after 9/11 and how important the community was helping all of us get through that very horrific and challenging time,” said Barrett. “This moment is just as challenging, but because of social distancing, we have not been able to have that same type of event to replicate the community response we had on 9/11. Our thought was to pull something together that could unite our community similar to what we did on 9/11. We have an opportunity here to do something as a community to show the love we have for one another.”

Noumi said the Better Days Ahead Parade will allow the town to recognize first responders and health care professionals as well as other frontline workers such as grocery store employees and postal workers.

“We are stuck in this new normal for a bit of time, and we are just thankful for the people who are providing us with the services that we need to keep that form of life as close to where it used to be,” said Noumi. “We are appreciative of the nurses and the doctors who are handling the cases. Shipping has become more important than ever, and postal employees are making sure we are getting the things we need. All of the people who work at grocery stores are on the frontlines, and they are putting themselves at risk for the greater good of everybody else. They all deserve a moment to be recognized for all of the hard work they are doing.”

Steiner agreed.

“We want to give them some recognition,” he said.

Barrett said it has been inspiring watching frontline and essential workers giving back during the pandemic.

“I see people going above and beyond everyday,” said Barrett. “They all deserve to be celebrated.”

In addition to recognizing the hard work undertaken by frontline workers, Noumi said the parade will serve as an opportunity to celebrate “community camaraderie” while ensuring social distancing protocols are being followed.

“We are very fortunate that Lynnfield has such strong Pioneer Pride,” said Noumi. “It will be great to see a lot of friends and family we haven’t been able to see on a day-to-day basis.”

Barrett said the parade will be able to help lift the community’s spirit and will remind residents “there are always better days ahead.”

The parade will begin at the middle school at 10 a.m. on Saturday, and will follow the routes utilized during both elementary school parades. Steiner said residents can either join the parade’s participants or can watch it at home. He said residents who want to join the procession should decorate their car “in a spirited way to thank others.”

“They can decorate their cars to celebrate Lynnfield pride, provide a message of positivity to the community, or say thank you to the frontline workers,” said Steiner.

If residents prefer watching the parade at home, Steiner encouraged townspeople to decorate their homes, windows, driveways and sidewalks.

“The parade is an opportunity for the community to come together in a safe way,” said Steiner. “People can celebrate from their lawns and really participate in a fun way. Kids can use chalk to draw on the sidewalk to celebrate the frontline workers. It’s a way to bring the community together in a positive way.”

The parade’s organizers have been planning it for the last several weeks. Noumi thanked Police Chief David Breen, Fire Chief/Emergency Management Director Glenn Davis, Town Administrator Rob Dolan and Recreation Director Julie Mallett for their assistance with getting the parade off the ground. He also thanked the support local boards and committees have provided, including the Board of Selectmen.

“The moment we shared the idea that we had, the excitement that people had was great,” said Noumi. “It was great to partner with those at Town Hall and put together something great for the residents of Lynnfield to enjoy.”

Steiner hopes residents will participate in the parade in some way.

“I think it will be a fantastic event, but the more community involvement we have, it will shine even further,” he said.

Noumi echoed Steiner’s point of view.

“We hope everybody has a great day,” said Noumi. “We are all in this together. Better days are ahead.”

Barrett concurred with Noumi and Steiner’s sentiment.

“It’s our hope that the Better Days Ahead Parade will remind all of us that there is always a bright dawn ahead, especially for Lynnfield,” said Barrett. “Go Pioneers.”

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