By Sarah Richardson
The two largest Fourth of July parades in Greenbrier County have taken different approaches to public safety measures during the coronavirus pandemic; the Greenbrier’s Fourth of July Parade is scheduled to take place in downtown White Sulphur Springs this Saturday, July 4, while Alderson has cancelled their weekend celebration entirely.
The Greenbrier’s parade is scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. with the lineup starting at 3 p.m. on Main Street across from the US Post Office in the Polaris Headquarters parking lot. The parade will move west on Main Street to The Greenbrier property.
COVID-19 guidelines issued by the resort state, “In light of the COVID-19 situation, The Greenbrier has taken a number of proactive steps to help ensure the health and safety of our guests and Team Members. Precautions such as constant sanitization of public areas, increased attention to high-touch areas in the rooms, limits on the number of guests in particular areas and screening and protective gear for our Team Members are in place.
“For the safety of every guest and Team Member, please take personal responsibility in following social distancing guidelines during your stay. Please remember to respect the personal space of other guests and Team Members throughout the resort, and take advantage of the sanitizing stations you will find strategically located around the property. If each of us does our part, we can create a comfortable environment for all.”
However, across the county, Alderson made the difficult decision to cancel their Fourth of July events several weeks ago.
“The Fourth of Committee rightly decided that the safety of our people who put on the festival, the citizens who live here, and those who come from out of the area should not be jeopardized as well,” says a statement issued by Alderson Mayor Travis Copenhaver. “This decision doesn’t mean ‘there is no Fourth of July!’ It means that you can decorate your home, have your picnic if you choose, or do as you wish. We as a town cannot jeopardize public safety or bankruptcy because of a failed event. … The financial impact, sadness over cancellation, and everything involved was weighed out. It just couldn’t happen.”
He goes on to add, “The COVID-19 disease will not go away. Healthcare will be dealing with this for a very long time. Medical research will be fifty years or more studying about this. We have to have some normalcy, but it will never be what it was six months ago again.
The town is determined to be back “bigger and better” for next year’s festivities, which will also be their 60th anniversary celebration.
For visitors to White Sulphur, “We ask you to follow guidelines and use common sense so we can continue to protect each other,” says WSS Mayor Bruce Bowling.
The Greenbrier’s Fourth of July Parade is part of a lineup of events throughout the holiday weekend at the resort, which also includes bingo, painting workshops, fun runs, lawn games, a golf cart decorating workshop, and more. The festivities end with a fireworks show on the golf course on July 4 at 10 p.m.