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The loss of Depot Days

The cancellation of Depot Days later this month will leave yet another big hole in Hartselle’s 2020 entertainment agenda for adults and children alike. The popular seven-day annual event was struck down by the sponsoring organizationHartselle Area Chamber of Commerce, because of the continuing spread of the coronavirus. The decision was reached by Mayor Randy Garrison and supported by the Hartselle City Council after discussing the risk of exposing the public to the virus in a crowd where social distancing wasn’t practical. 

The decision made sense, even though it meant denying the public the opportunity to participate in a community-wide worship service, attend a Looking Back display and program sponsored by Hartselle Historical Society and enjoy listening to a gospel singing performance featuring local musicians and singers. 

Perhaps the Saturday Depot Days Festival will be missed the most.  

It attracts approximately 12,000 participants and provides adventure and fun for the entire family. The antique and classic car show fills the parking lots on the west side of First United Methodist Church and features many of the most coveted cars and pickups from the early 1900s to the 1990s.  

The family farm is revisited with a large display of tractors competing in contests. Children are invited to compete in races riding small pedal-operated tractors.  

A children’s play area is set up on a parking lot behind Something Blue Shoppe. Exhibitors display merchandise in stands on Main, and adjacent streets and food vendors offer grab’ngo snacks to shoppers. 

It seems cancellations and postponements of public events have been the order of the day since the beginning of the year. The first to fall by the wayside were high school and college baseball, softball and track.   

College basketball fell short of the NCAA tournament, and professional basketball, soccer and track were delayed.  

Also, the city’s swim center and splash pad never opened.  

Now that another season has started, professional baseball, basketball and football are struggling with COVID-19. High school football and volleyball are experiencing some setbacks but are underway.  

Hopefully, the upcoming basketball, baseball and track seasons will follow with smooth sailing.  

It would be a refreshing change to have a COVID-19 vaccine by the start of 2021, and we could look forward to a schedule of public events without disruption.