Posted: 07/10/2021 13:07 PM
Party like it’s 2019. It almost feels like a normal summer weekend in New Hampshire, with in-person festivals popping up all over the state.
With the rise in vaccinations and the drop in COVID-19 cases, the rules and regulations for events like festivals are more relaxed. But not everyone is ready to take off their mask.
Courtney Perkins, executive director of the Prescott Park Arts Festival, says she and her team have been working with Portsmouth officials to develop a COVID-19 security plan for this summer’s events. Festival goers won’t be required to wear masks if they are vaccinated, but social distancing and mask wearing are recommended for those who are not.
“People are in a space of ‘self-regulation’,” says Perkins. “So in large groups, if they want to wear a mask or if they are not vaccinated, they will wear a mask or they will not sit as close as they used to be.”
After being canceled last year due to the pandemic, festival organizers are delighted to welcome visitors again. The opening night for his live musical was Friday.
Other festivals adopt similar policies to help keep people safe.
At the Cocheco Arts Festival in Dover, festival-goers can crowd the lawn of Henry Law Park for a concert or a live movie.
Morgan Faustino, community events manager for the Dover Chamber of Commerce, agrees that holding festivals as they used to be will require some tweaking.
“It’s kind of a weird time right now where we’re coming back in person, and not everyone is completely comfortable right now,” Faustino said. “We are just encouraging people to make their best judgment.”
He says the festival committee consulted with officials in Dover to develop advice on social distancing and masking at events. After a year and a half of the pandemic, people are encouraged to follow regulations that make them comfortable.
These articles are shared by the partners of The Granite State News Collaborative. For more information, visit collaborativenh.org.