Westminster Cares plans drive-by celebration of aging

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

This year, owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, the organization will “acknowledge and celebrate the town's elders with a drive-by celebration and parade,” according to a news release. Everyone is invited to participate.

On Saturday, Sept. 26, from 2 to 2:30 p.m., 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.

The town is home to a number of people who are 90 years of age or older: Dot Allen, Phyllis Anderson, Charlotte Kurkul, Judith Berkley, Joanna (Jo) Crocker, Bob Gay, Ben Hutchins, Lee MacDuffie, Libby Mills, Ruth Morse, Lois Woodard, Pauline Kissell, and Bill Smidutz. Barbara Holton, formerly of town, is also on the list but lives in Florida.

“Decorate your car, and add balloons, streamers, and signs to send greetings to the town's elders,” the organizers said. “Although it's fine to slow down your car to greet each guest of honor, they are asking that everyone remain in their cars. If you need to exit your car for any reason, remember that masks and social distancing 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 Center School parking lot, and returning to Main Street.

Those 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, wear a mask and stay at least 6 feet apart.

So as not to interfere with traffic along Route 5, those arriving early are asked to 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 to 2 p.m. for setup.

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

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