As the coronavirus continues to spread, community event cancellations are becoming the new normal, and many locals are worried that will continue into the new year.
This past Sunday, the Waveland Civic Association voted to cancel its upcoming 2021 St. Patrick’s Day Ball.
“As of right now, the future of all our traditional St. Patrick’s Day and other events really depends on a lot of unknowns,” Waveland Civic Association President A.J. Andres said this week.
“Although we must do our part to help prevent further potential spread of the virus, we also recognize just how important our age-old traditions are to the community and its mental health during these trying times.”
The devastating news comes after an extremely difficult year for the organization, Andres said.
“We were fortunate enough to hold our 2020 St. Patrick’s Day ball, but the parade — along with many of our other events typically held throughout the year — had to be canceled abruptly due to the outbreak. These decisions weren’t made lightly. It’s also definitely taken a financial toll on the organization as a whole.”
The association’s den, where crews store their creative shamrock decor and floats, also took a hard hit during Hurricane Zeta, complicating things even more for the organization, Andres said.
“We have a lot of damage,” he said. “The den needs new structural support beams and rafters, replacement metal for the outside walls, paint and new doors, since the storm took our others.
“A lot more than what people think goes into this. We’d like to secure the building and begin making the necessary repairs so we don’t lose our members’ hard creative work and so the floats aren’t damaged, but it’s extremely hard to do with a limited amount of people. We really need all hands on deck.”
According to Andres, membership was at an all-time high prior to the pandemic.
“We are starting to get a younger generation of membership. A lot of the older generation just can’t or don’t want to get out,” Andres said. “I’m really afraid the impacts will be felt this year if we don’t prepare now by tossing around the idea of some new and unique non-traditional concepts.”
Currently, Andres said, the organization is accepting membership applications.
“We have lots we can do and do safely. I think doing something is better than doing nothing,” Andres said. “It’s important to the community and to the children who look forward to being a big part of our events each year. We won’t give up on celebrating in some sort of fashion.”
If you would like to become a member of the Waveland Civic Association or make a contribution, you can contact A.J. Andres at 228-493-3861. You can make a donation online through PayPal @WavelandCivicAssoc or at any First Bank location. You can also mail a check or money order to P.O. Box 104 Waveland, MS 39576. You can also visit the Waveland Civic Association’s Facebook page for more information.