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We have proven results and are getting closer to normal

In recent weeks, we have started to see Vicksburg become more alive. We have seen events begin to fill our social calendar and events fill the streets and venues throughout the city.

We have seen the annual Over the River Run, while smaller than in years past, still draw hundreds to Vicksburg. We have seen concerts downtown and events like Second Chance Saturday draw residents and visitors alike to our downtown streets and shops.

Sports Force Parks on the Mississippi, since soon after Memorial Day, has brought in teams throughout the region for tournaments and played host to youth baseball, soccer and flag football leagues. There have also been the occasional kickball games where adults, longing to recount the activities of their youth, show up to stretch their legs and their hamstrings.

Businesses and restaurants have returned to near capacity and government restrictions — both on the local and state levels — have become more targeted in this ongoing fight against the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

So with all of these events returning, and new events adding a bit of normalcy to our lives, it is disappointing when events — ones that we have truly loved — are turned to virtual events, drastically changed or canceled.

It was a shame COVID-19 restrictions and concerns over the virus led to the cancellation of the high school homecoming parades and the beloved Veteran’s Day Parade. The annual Christmas Parade, which draws thousands to downtown Vicksburg will be changed this year — likely to a reverse parade — but it at least will still be held. 

The worry about the virus is warranted and we have criticized those, particularly at the state level, who do not at times appear to take it seriously. We have called for mask mandates and applauded local leaders for showing true leadership in ensuring the local mandates remain in place.

But, we also have seen how effective planning has worked to allow events to remain, while at the same time ensuring a safe environment. Vicksburg has shown leadership not only in how we have battled the virus but shown leadership in how events can be held. The prime example is the Fourth of July fireworks show that was held in the midst of what was a summer surge for the virus.

With proper planning and those attending the event following the rules, we can return to something that may not look normal but will feel much closer to it.