Westminster Cares plans “drive-by” celebration of aging

Westminster Cares invites the community to join in a drive-by celebration of the communty's elders
Westminster Cares invites the community to join in a drive-by celebration of the communty’s elders. Photo provided

WESTMINSTER, Vt. – Traditionally on the first weekend in November, Westminster Cares invites the community to honor those residents in our town who are 90 years and older.

This year, however, nothing is traditional. A crowded indoor gathering is not allowed and certainly not safe. Yet, Westminster Cares could not cancel this important event! How could we acknowledge and celebrate our town’s elders while also safeguarding the health of our guests of honor and those who would come out to honor them? Westminster Cares has planned a “drive-by” celebration and parade and everyone is invited to participate.

On Saturday, Sept. 26, from 2-2:30 p.m., the community is invited to a Drive-By Celebration and Parade honoring residents in town who are 90 years and older. Guests of honor will be lined up in their cars along the back parking lot of the Westminster Institute stretching to the parking lot of the Fire Station.

Westminster currently has 13 residents who are 90 years of age or older: Dot Allen, Phyllis Anderson, Charlotte Kurkul, Judith Berkley, Jo Crocker, Bob Gay, Ben Hutchins, Barbara Holton who lives in Florida, Lee MacDuffie, Libby Mills, Ruth Morse, and Lois Woodward. Joining this esteemed group are Pauline Kissell and Bill Smidutz.

We couldn’t decorate the Fire House, but you can decorate your car. Add balloons, streamers, and make signs to send greetings to our town’s elders. Although it’s fine to slow down your car to greet each guest of honor, we are asking that everyone remain in their cars. If you need to exit your car for any reason, remember that masks and social distance are required.

At 2:30 p.m., following the drive-by, the guests of honor will be led in a short parade down Main Street, making a loop in their cars as they head south on Route 5, back up to School Street, turning around in the WCS parking lot, and returning back to Main Street. Those residents who live along Main and School streets are encouraged to come out, wave, and give a shout out. If you park in a lot and stand along a street to wave, please wear a mask and keep proper six-foot social distance.

In order not to interfere with traffic along Route 5, if you arrive early, please line up in the parking lot of the First Congregational Church on Route 5 as the Westminster Institute parking lot will be closed from 1-2 p.m. for set up.

Help us spread the word – tell your family, friends, and neighbors about this event.

In case of bad weather, the rain date is Sunday, Sept. 27. If you have questions, please call the Westminster Cares office at 802-722-3607.

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