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Howland planning end-of-summer celebration

HOWLAND — While the township will not hold a Fourth of July parade and celebration this summer, trustees are working with the school district to plan an end-of-summer community celebration to mark what is hoped to be the end of the coronavirus pandemic.

Township Trustee Matt Vansuch said at Wednesday’s meeting he has received calls from residents about the annual Fourth of July parade, which was canceled for the second year because of COVID-19.

However, he said residents are interested in planning for the 2022 event and an end of summer celebration this year.

“They had suggested holding an event later in the summer to celebrate the community coming back together after this pandemic. I spoke to the school board and presented the idea to them of a community event where we can have a parade and recognize our students and our community members who did a lot during the pandemic,” Vansuch said.

He said the low vaccination rate in Trumbull County is a concern and needs to increase this summer.

“Our hope is by the end of August, the township and the schools can work together on a ‘community coming back together’ event probably around Labor Day. We can put something together that the community can appreciate and be excited about. People who have reached out to me are very excited about the possibility of this. This will be an opportunity to re-engage with the community,” Vansuch said.

Vansuch said it would be too difficult with limited resources to do a Fourth of July event this year.

He said he is waiting to hear back from the school district and plan an organizing meeting later this month.

“I think this is a great idea, and many people I have spoken to also like the idea,” trustee James LaPolla said.

LaPolla said while he is optimistic the COVID-19 numbers are declining overall, the county still has one of the highest virus rates in the state.

“We still need to be safe, and this is the reason we decided not to have the July 4 events. It is a smart idea to wait and do something later in August when it would be more appropriate,” he said.

Howland Board of Education President Julie Altawil had commented on the possibility of having a community event at the Eastwood Field in Niles.

In other business, trustees plan to return to in-person meetings at the township administration building starting with the July 14 meeting, after more than a year of Zoom meetings.

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