It’s been said that just like politics, “All news is local.”
And in the past a “Year in Review” did not include major national and International events but simply recalled Warwick’s share of important stories which lately began and ended with Apple Eve, the community New Years Eve celebration on Railroad Avenue.
But 2020 was different and one major national and International event, the COVID-19 pandemic, changed all our lives.
Like most other towns, Warwick was hit by the coronavirus and had to deal with new challenges. It was the year of the mask, which in a strange way, became commonplace and a way of life.
Residents kept a social distance while waiting single file to shop at the supermarket or at those local businesses that were not completely closed.
At first, restaurants could only serve take-out but were later restricted to limited capacity, perhaps not nearly enough to cover the overhead. And any business considered non-essential simply closed.
Schools also closed and churches that remained open had to limit attendance at services. The list of restrictions and where and when they were applied is beyond the scope of this article and the rules kept changing.
But residents knew the drill and learned to cope with the restrictions.
Earlier in the year, the events we usually cover such as the New Year’s Eve Apple Drop, winter sports at Mt. Peter Ski Area, the annual Mardi Gras for a Cause, anniversaries, grand openings, St. Patrick’s Day green line down Main Street and the like were celebrated as usual.
Closures, cancellations, modifications
But it was around that time that Warwick’s traditional celebrations were canceled or modified.
The annual Warwick Little League parade and ceremonies were an early casualty followed by the Village Easter Egg Hunt, the popular Take a Kid Fishing Day, the “Too Good to Toss” community swap, the annual Duck Derby and Sunset at Winslow, both major fund raisers for Winslow Therapeutic Center. .
Major events such as the Memorial Day Parade and ceremonies, the Warwick Fire Department’s carnival, the Warwick Valley Chamber of Commerce Community Showcase, the Railroad Green concerts, the Senior Barbecue, Ladies Night Out, Taste of Warwick, the Homecoming Day Parade, the Halloween Parade, Operation Toy Train and even Applefest were all canceled.
The list goes on.
The majority of annual events and celebrations, without mentioning all, did not take place and many are a major source of income for not-for-profit organizations. .
The good news, however, was that Warwick managed to cope with the pandemic.
Volunteers came up with new ideas to help small business and non-profits survive.
Downtown businesses limited the number of shoppers allowed in the stores and enjoyed a modified but successful holiday shopping season.
WTBQ’s Toys for Military Tots broke records and people learned that cash was a safer and more practical donation for the Warwick Food Pantry.
Neighbors helped neighbors and during the summer and early fall, Mayor Michael Newhard and the Village Board managed to get the necessary state approvals to close Main Street shortly before and during weekends to provide outdoor dining for the restaurants and a welcome change for everyone under house arrest. .
And some events such as Veterans Day, Home for the Holidays, the annual Christmas Tree lighting and the Menorah lighting were modified to continue the tradition.
Weather permitting, we expect to celebrate the fifth annual “Apple Eve,” to hopefully kick off Warwick’s better future in 2021.
Of course, there is much more and the most read stories in 2020 can be viewed at www.warwickadvertiser.com.
Happy New Year!
Editor’s note: The Black Lives Matter movement also resonated throughout many parts of the community during the year. That will be part of the most important stories of the year that will be published in the Jan. 8, 2021, edition of The Warwick Advertiser.