Parks and rec plans coming together for 2021 – tentatively

BURTON — The Burton Parks and Recreation Commission is tentatively putting plans in place for city events next year but admit it’s likely it’ll have to put the brakes on some of the early ones.

This past year most city events were cancelled due to COVID-19, starting with the annual Burton Easter Egg Hunt in April. Looking ahead to 2021, commissioners remain hopeful, but admit the Easter Egg Hunt may be cancelled again in 2021.

“I still see this (COVID-19) being an issue in March,” said Commissioner Sandra Talbot at the Dec. 9 board meeting. “There would be no social distancing.”

The annual Easter egg hunt, held on the grounds of Atherton High School/Middle School, is tentatively scheduled for March 27, but the commission remains skeptical it will happen.

“It’s too soon to make a call, but I would be very surprised if we can hold it,” said Jim Craig, commission president. “We just don’t want to call it any sooner than we have to.”

He added the Easter Egg Hunt is not an event that can be done virtually and, admittedly, the event involves “too many kids all together, bumping into each other.”

Commissioner Tina Conley said all the materials are bought for the egg hunt last year when the state’s COVID-19 restrictions came down a matter of days before the schedule hunt. All those materials were put in storage and can be reused this year or next.

The Parks and Recreation Commission is scheduling all its other events throughout the year and intends to address each one as they get closer. After Easter, the next event will be the Memorial Day race and parade.

Craig said they will push to do it as scheduled, but only if they can do it safely.

“I think we’re going to try to have that, it’s largely outside, but we’re still going to have to wait,” said Craig. “As for Memorial Day at City Hall, we’re going to have to wait on what the mayor says.”

Craig added he’d rather plan for the race and other activities on Memorial Day and not be able to do it rather than waiting until the last minute in April and deciding to go ahead with only a few weeks to plan it.

The annual Trick or Treat trail is planned for October but is waiting on a new Bentley Community Schools liaison to join the Parks and Recreation Commission. That event takes place on the grounds of Bentley Junior High and High School.

Tentative planning with also continue with the Veterans Honor Run on Nov. 6, Pizza with Santa Dec. 4 and other Christmas events in December 2021.

Craig asked Commissioner Jeremy Scharrer about the City of Burton’s 50th anniversary plans, which will be in 2022.

Scharrer said he’s been putting that discussion off but with it being 19 months away, he said he’d like to get started with planning sometime in early 2021.

“I want to get a meeting together with the mayor and the new administration and go from there before we make any kind of commitment,” he said. “I want to get with the administration and start from scratch.”

Craig said it will also be necessary to wait until Burton civic groups are able to meet regularly again because the plan is to involve them in the 50th anniversary.