After a year in which many events fell by the wayside as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the City of Powell is moving forward with plans to host its lineup of traditional community events this year.
In collaboration with the Delaware Public Health District, the city has announced 11 events in 2021, beginning with a virtual Arbor Day experience on April 30.
But while many of the traditional events are scheduled to be held this year, marking a step towards the return of some sense of normalcy, some of the events are set to take on a different feel as the state continues to navigate a changing landscape regarding the pandemic.
Most notably, the city’s beloved Powell Festival will not be held this year. Rather, it has been replaced by a series of summer events to be held on the last Fridays of the summer months. A presentation of the event schedule pointed out the current limitation of 1,500 people for such events and stated, “It is unknown what orders from state and local health departments will be in June when Powell Festival is typically held.”
The Powell Summer Series will be held on June 25, July 30, and Aug. 27 from 6-9 p.m. In addition to the Designated Outdoor Refreshment Area (DORA) in place downtown on Fridays, several enhancements will be made that include a band on the amphitheater stage, food trucks, lawn games in Village Green Park, and possibly a beer truck in the parking lot of the municipal building.
To stay with the tradition of the Powell Festival, a street market will be held on the Saturday following the June 25 opening of the Powell Summer Series, with the community fireworks show being held in the evening.
Other events scheduled include a Memorial Day reverse parade on May 31, the community bonfire on Saturday, Sept. 25, Candy by the Carload on Oct. 30, and a Veterans Day celebration on Nov. 11. The schedule is set to conclude with Holidays in Powell on Dec. 4.
Of course, all plans are contingent upon the evolving regulations and guidelines associated with the pandemic.
“A lot of that is day-by-day,” Vice Mayor and Operations Committee Chairman Dan Swartwout said of the plans during a recent Powell City Council meeting. “As the regulations change, and the mandates change, this (plan) can change. So, there is a lot of flexibility that is built into that. But it is very exciting to have some (events) … We’re moving back closer to what our events have been in years past.”
Swartwout added the Operations Committee has also discussed extending the Designated Outdoor Refreshment Area (DORA) to include Thursdays, as well as making the hours of the DORA uniform Thursday through Sunday.