South Shore event planners cautiously look to summer

The Levitate Music and Arts Festival on the Marshfield Fairgrounds on Sunday, July 14, 2019.  (Greg Derr/The Patriot Ledger)
Motocross participants get big air at the Marshfield Fair in 2018. File photo.

WICKED – After a year stuck inside, socially distanced, what will summer look like this year on the South Shore?

With restrictions lifting and vaccines rolling out, event planners are starting to shape their summer calendars in what may be a new normal, though still replete with questions and uncertainties. 

On Monday, the state moved into a new, looser stage of restrictions, Step 1 of Phase 4, portending a more active spring. Large-capacity sports and entertainment venues will be permitted to operate at a strict 12 percent capacity limit after submitting a plan to the state Department of Public Health.

Plimoth Patuxet Museums, formerly Plimoth Plantation, in Plymouth will open April 10 for the 2021 season.

“We hope you will plan a visit to our primarily outdoor sites, where there is plenty of fresh air and space for being physically distant and socially engaged,” said the cultural site in a post on its website.

Masks are required for all guests. 

The sights and sounds of King Richard’s Faire are returning to Carver this year. The current plan is for the medieval fair is to come back on weekends and Monday holidays from Sept. 4 through Oct. 24.

If you fancy yourself a king, queen or perhaps a royal jester, the fair is holding virtual auditions for the upcoming season. More information is available at the fair’s website, 

The Levitate Music and Arts Festival on the Marshfield Fairgrounds on
Sunday, July 14, 2019. (Greg Derr/The Patriot Ledger)

Marshfield’s two biggest summer events, the Marshfield Fair and Levitate Music and Arts Festival, both have dates on the calendar, but uncertain futures. 

Lenny LaForest, president of the Marshfield Fair, said he hopes to know by May if the fair can safely happen this year. 

“We’re making a plan for this year, but we won’t make a solid decision until May,” LaForest said. 

If the fair happens, it will take place Aug. 20-29.

The fair was canceled last year for the first time in its 152-year run. While rides and demolition derbies are summer favorites, the fair is still largely focused on agriculture. It annually sees farmers and ranchers from throughout the area bring their brightest flowers, largest vegetables and best-bred livestock to the fairgrounds to show off their work and compete for ribbons.

No decision has yet been made for the Levitate Music Festival, which has dates on its website of July 9-11. Jack Johnson, Stick Figure and Phil Lesh and Friends are among the lineup up performers listed on the event website and tickets are being sold. Marshfield police Lt. Arthur Shaw said town officials and festival planners will be meeting soon to discuss the future of the music festival. 

The festival, which runs for three days at the Marshfield Fairgrounds, is organized by Daniel Hassett and his wife, Jess, owners of the Levitate Surf and Skate Shop, which has locations in Marshfield and Hull.

The Boston Symphony Orchestra announced Friday that its 2021 outdoor season at Tanglewood, the symphony’s summer home in the Berkshires, will feature a return to live, in-person concerts from July 9 to Aug. 16.

The path for weddings appears to be cleared for the summer. Among the restrictions lifted Monday were venue capacities and dance floor restrictions. 

Gathering limits for event venues and in public settings increases to 100 people indoors and 150 people outdoors. Dance floors are now permitted at weddings again as well. 

For weary parents, camp is again a possibility this summer. The state said overnight summer camps will be allowed to operate.

While hope springs eternal for the cooped-up, health officials still recommend masking and social distancing when gathering in public, even after being vaccinated. 

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that “fully vaccinated people should continue to wear masks and stay 6 feet apart from other people … when they are in public or visiting with unvaccinated people from multiple households.”

Vaccinated people can safely meet indoors, unmasked, with other vaccinated people or with one household of unvaccinated people who don’t have other health complications.

By Joe Difazio

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