Apr. 2—WATERTOWN — Organizers have gotten the go-ahead to put on the Jefferson County Dairy Parade in June after last year's event was canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Jay M. Matteson, agricultural coordinator for the Jefferson County Economic Development Agency, said he found out late Thursday afternoon that the parade in Watertown can be held on June 4, with the theme this year is "This Milk is For You!"
"We got it approved," Mr. Matteson, agricultural coordinator for the Jefferson County Economic Development Agency, said. "We're very excited. This is a real parade."
City Manager Kenneth A. Mix and Jefferson County Board of Legislators Chairman Scott A. Gray both signed off on having the parade this year, as long as COVID-19 cases remain low.
The parade will kick off at 7 p.m. June 4 at Watertown High School.
Organizers will do everything they can to make sure everyone is safe during the parade with social distancing, mask-wearing and other guidelines, Mr. Matteson stressed.
The parade needed getting approval from the city because the parade goes down Washington Street, while the city school district had to say yes because the staging area is held on at the high school, he said.
The JCEDA hosts the parade, while coordinating it with the Jefferson County Dairy Promotion Bureau.
While the parade is an outdoor event, the Dairy Festival won't be held this year in the Dulles State Office Building because that event is held indoors and COVID restrictions would prohibit it from going on, he said.
Instead, organizers will use the month of June to recognize area first responders and health care workers for all of the sacrifices and hard work they did to help the community during the pandemic, he said.
Elizabeth Hyman, the Alternate New York State and Jefferson County Dairy Princess, is asking everyone to take Dairy Month in June to say thank you to all the emergency first responders and front-line health care providers.
The parade will be streamed live on NBC Watertown for people who are not comfortable attending it.
Organizers are asking children to bring signs saying "Thank You" to wave at first responders and health-care workers in the parade.
Anyone can participate in the parade. Go to the parade website and follow the link to the parade registration form. For more information go onhttps://www.agricultureevents.com/june-dairy-parade-and-festival.