Organizers of the Soldiers Reunion have decided to cancel the parade and many other festivities associated with the reunion in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The only event planned for this year is a Reunion Service to pay tribute to veterans, which is scheduled for 4 p.m. on Aug. 20 at the 1924 Courthouse.
Wayne Dellinger, longtime reunion organizer, said the decision to cancel most of the events was difficult but necessary given the circumstances.
“We just feel that it’s better to go ahead and cancel it than possibly planning and then have a spike in the cases and we have to cancel it later,” he said. “The only thing I can say is, we just hate it.”
He said aside from a possible cancellation in the 1940s as a result of the polio epidemic, this is the only time he is aware of the parade being canceled.
Since 1889, the Soldiers Reunion has been a signature event in Newton.
In addition to the parade and ceremony honoring veterans, the week of festivities in late August has also included pageants, music and a classic car display and cruise.
Kevin Griffin is the City of Hickory reporter at the Hickory Daily Record.
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