After Ida, South Plainfield delays parade, Somerville nixes race
The devastating impact of the remnants of Ida has prompted at least two traditional events in central Jersey to be delayed or cancelled.
In South Plainfield, the Labor Day parade and fireworks have been postponed until Sept. 25, the borough's mayor announced.
Meanwhile the Tour of Somerville, the country's oldest major bicycle race, was cancelled out of respect for the storm's victims and would return in 2022, according to Somerville's Facebook page on Sunday.
The event also was cancelled a year earlier, due to the coronavirus pandemic and then delayed from its traditional schedule of Memorial Day weekend.
"As families try to recover from the devastating floods and evacuations throughout Somerville and neighboring communities, it was determined that the races were not appropriate at this time and that the energy that would have gone into running the event be directed to helping neighbors in need," a written release said on the borough's Facebook page.
“We have seen how the flooding has affected hundreds of families and in good conscience, we are not comfortable staging a bike race at this time,” Race Director Mike Malekoff said in the statement.
“Somerville is experiencing ongoing evacuations and beginning a massive clean-up. As important as the Tour of Somerville is to our community, we have to direct all resources elsewhere,” Mayor Dennis Sullivan said in the same release.
The Tour of Somerville traditionally attracts more than 25,000 spectators and over 1,000 cyclists from around the world.
South Plainfield Mayor Matt Anesh announced the new date for festivities as the borough was still doing damage assessment following the severe floods from Ida.
It'll be the first time since 2018 South Plainfield gets back to its traditional parade, after explosive devices found near the route in 2019 and COVID-19 prompted cancellations for the last two years.