First Third Friday falls victim to COVID-19


By Jodi Myers - Galion Inquirer



File photo People interacting with one another, with animals and with vendors is the key to the success of Third Friday in Galion events. Social distancing and concerns about hygiene have caused the May 15 event to be cancelled. Decisions on the June, July and August events will be made in the future.

File photo People interacting with one another, with animals and with vendors is the key to the success of Third Friday in Galion events. Social distancing and concerns about hygiene have caused the May 15 event to be cancelled. Decisions on the June, July and August events will be made in the future.


GALION — Unfortunately, like many other milestones and special events cancelled, the first Third Friday in Galion program for 2020 also fell victim to the chopping block.

The Third Friday eventscheduled May 15 has been cancelled based on social distancing restrictions having to do with the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Even if they lift restrictions, it’s still too short of time to get everything in place,” said Miranda Jones, executive director of the Galion-Crestline Chamber of Commerce and the person who started the series of Friday get-togethers in Historic Uptowne Galion. “Because we have a usage agreement from the city, and we have insurance we must have, and the need to get vendors, music and food in place … May is just too soon.”

The June 19 event is still a possibility.

“We’re kind of in the air on that one because we’re waiting to see what happens,” Jones said.

“We know we want to do something this summer, so it might just be July and August,” Jones noted. “At that point in time, our plan of action for those moving forward would be to contact all our previous vendors and talk to them and see who’s interested. Even then we might event have to implement more social distancing. Where before, there may have been four vendors in one spot, now we would only put three, because we would want to put more distance between them.”

More rules and regulations would require some changes.

“If we have to limit the number of vendors, I don’t know if we could open it up to any new vendors this year, just because we already have that established relationship already with those who have done it the last three years,” she explained.

There are still a lot of questions about how public events can be held.

“We’re in a hurry-up-and-wait game,” Jones explained. “But we’ve got ideas and I’m hoping by August we can do at least one big block party and extend the hours. We have plans that can make it work, it’s just a matter of when because I don’t think COVID-19 is going away anytime soon.

“Because we’re a family friendly event, we want to make sure all our families who participate and attend are safe.

Although the safety of the community is at the forefront, Jones admits some disappointment.

“Everyone who knows me, knows that Third Fridays … I call them my baby,” she said. “When I started at the chamber that was the one thing I wanted to do. Something similar to what Mansfield is doing with their Final Fridays and what Bucyrus is doing with their First Fridays. Our Third Friday events have become my baby. I’m so disappointed that we can’t have all of them … or maybe none this year.”

But she continues to plan for the future.

“We do plan on doing something big,” Jones said. “Even if it’s in September before we all can finally come out and have something. It might not be a third Friday, but we want to do something.”

File photo People interacting with one another, with animals and with vendors is the key to the success of Third Friday in Galion events. Social distancing and concerns about hygiene have caused the May 15 event to be cancelled. Decisions on the June, July and August events will be made in the future.
https://www.galioninquirer.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/38/2020/04/web1_b-062119j-Third-Friday_0038.jpgFile photo People interacting with one another, with animals and with vendors is the key to the success of Third Friday in Galion events. Social distancing and concerns about hygiene have caused the May 15 event to be cancelled. Decisions on the June, July and August events will be made in the future.

By Jodi Myers

Galion Inquirer