Editorial: Parade’s cancelled, but Dot Day lives on

For weeks, we’ve wondered what would become of 2020 Dorchester Day celebrations in the context of this coronavirus madness. If the timing had worked out better, it could have been an opportunity for a massive celebration, a release of pent-up energy, and a chance to revel in each other’s company again.

Alas, that’s not to be.

Last week, the organizers of the Dorchester Day Parade withdrew their application for a permit for this year’s parade— effectively cancelling the event that was set for Sun., June 7.

“It is never an easy decision to cancel an event, but we feel this is the best and safest decision for us to protect the health and safety of our committee members, participants, and neighbors,” said Kelly Walsh, who leads the committee. “We hope that you and your family stay healthy and safe and we hope that we will be able to see you all again soon to celebrate our wonderful community.”

It was a tough blow. But, it was, of course, the right decision by the committee.

You may be forgiven if you lost track of that bit of bad news: It truly says something about these momentous days we’re living through when the story about the cancellation of the parade ended up on Page 13 of last week’s edition of the Dorchester Reporter.

Full disclosure: The news broke late in last week’s news gathering cycle and we did put a headline carrying the sad news on Page One, below the fold.

It’s too soon to say whether or not it will be safe to assemble with people outside of our immediate homes by June 7. The big backyard BBQs may or may not happen. But, without the parade, Dot Day 2020 won’t be the Victory over Corona bacchanalia celebration.

That’s okay. We intend to celebrate it here at the Reporter by publishing a salute to our neighborhood in print and online that will rival any Dot Day publication we have ever assembled in content, page count, or by any other measure.

Dot Day is more than just another holiday in these parts. And it’s more than just about a parade, although the march up the avenue is certainly the event that convenes us in the most tangible way.

It’s a celebration of a neighborhood that we all call home— and one that deserves a day to call its own.

And while the parade will not be staged and the attendant chief marshal’s dinner won’t be plated, there’s no way that Dorchester Day will not be celebrated this year. If it’s not safe— and we’re advised by Mayor Walsh to hold off on congregating in even small groups— we’ll follow his lead. We’ll celebrate with our households — the way many of us did with our housemates — or virtually— on Easter Sunday.

We’d like to hear from our readers over the coming days and weeks: How do you propose to observe a parade-less Dot Day this year? We’d love to share some of those ideas with everyone.

- Bill Forry