Plymouth holds pandemic-delayed 400th anniversary celebration
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Plymouth holds pandemic-delayed 400th anniversary celebration

The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted many events over the past year and a half, including what was supposed to be a banner celebration for one Massachusetts town.Officials in the town of Plymouth spent a decade planning and organizing the 400th anniversary of the Pilgrims’ arrival.The grand plans for the celebration, which spanned four weekends, included a visit from the President of the United States — and possibly another from the Queen of England.”We had every hotel room booked from Connecticut up to Maine for the four big weekends that we were planning,” said George McKay, who is on the Plymouth 400 planning committee. “Of course, because of COVID, that all went up in smoke.”According to estimates, the town lost $50 million in revenue from hotels, restaurants and bars due to the coronavirus-related cancellations of 400th anniversary celebrations.To help offset the losses, organizers and town officials decided to plan a number of 400th anniversary events for this year, including the official maritime salute on Labor Day weekend.Two days of free maritime — and history-themed festivities at Plymouth Harbor were planned for Saturday and Sunday, including visiting wooden-masted ships and other vessels, a lighted boat parade, live music and educational programming.On Saturday, visitors to Plymouth got “chamber of commerce weather” —warm temperatures, blue skies and gentle waves.There are also plans for a large celebration later this year, as 2021 marks the 400th anniversary of the “First Thanksgiving” in 1621.

The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted many events over the past year and a half, including what was supposed to be a banner celebration for one Massachusetts town.

Officials in the town of Plymouth spent a decade planning and organizing the 400th anniversary of the Pilgrims’ arrival.

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The grand plans for the celebration, which spanned four weekends, included a visit from the President of the United States — and possibly another from the Queen of England.

“We had every hotel room booked from Connecticut up to Maine for the four big weekends that we were planning,” said George McKay, who is on the Plymouth 400 planning committee. “Of course, because of COVID, that all went up in smoke.”

According to estimates, the town lost $50 million in revenue from hotels, restaurants and bars due to the coronavirus-related cancellations of 400th anniversary celebrations.

To help offset the losses, organizers and town officials decided to plan a number of 400th anniversary events for this year, including the official maritime salute on Labor Day weekend.

Two days of free maritime — and history-themed festivities at Plymouth Harbor were planned for Saturday and Sunday, including visiting wooden-masted ships and other vessels, a lighted boat parade, live music and educational programming.

On Saturday, visitors to Plymouth got “chamber of commerce weather” —warm temperatures, blue skies and gentle waves.

There are also plans for a large celebration later this year, as 2021 marks the 400th anniversary of the “First Thanksgiving” in 1621.

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