The Nassau County Legislative Majority has written a letter to Governor Andrew Cuomo to issue guidance allowing municipalities to host parades on Memorial Day weekend. Current guidance from the state does not permit in-person parades and the NCPD is unable to approve permits from municipalities.
In Nassau County more than 70 percent of those eligible have now received at least one dose of a vaccine. The percentage of positive tests in Nassau and across New York State have dropped substantially. As of May 19, New York is removing most capacity restrictions for businesses and institutions and is easing limits on large gatherings.
“The brave men and women who lost their lives in service to our nation deserve to be recognized for their sacrifice,” Presiding Officer Richard Nicolello, who is also a resident of New Hyde Park, said. “If we can safely attend a baseball game, or visit a museum or beach, we should be able to gather to honor those who have laid down their lives for our country.”
Without explicit approval from the state, communities will not be able to host Memorial Day parades. The Nassau County Legislative Majority is requesting that Governor Cuomo provide specific rules regarding parades, which will enable the county to grant permits.
“As Nassau County continues down the road to normalcy, it is important that our communities are able to gather to honor those have paid the ultimate sacrifice in service to our nation,” Legislator Bill Gaylor, a retired Lieutenant Colonel in the US Army, said. “Not being able to gather together last year to honor those who have fallen certainly took a toll on our veterans, and families. The governor should immediately issue guidance and make sure we can safely gather and honor these American heroes.”
In a letter that legislators sent to Governor Cuomo, it said that last Memorial Day when the pandemic was still new communities had limited opportunities to commemorate those who scarified everything for the country. Now that the infection rate is considerably lower this year thanks to the vaccines, more should be allowed to celebrate. The letter was signed by Nicollelo, Gaylor, Deputy Presiding Officer Howard J. Kopel, Legislator Denise Ford, Legislator Laura Schaefer, Legislator Vincent Muscarella, Legislator John Ferretti Jr., Legislator James Kennedy, Legislator Rose Marie Walker, Legislator Tom McKevitt and Legislator Steve Rhoads.
Not to be deterred, the Village of New Hyde Park is hosting a car parade to celebrate Memorial Day on Saturday May 29 from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Cars can start to assemble at 9 a.m. on the southbound lane of Hillside Avenue. At 10 a.m., the parade will travel to village hall for a wreath laying ceremony and then proceed to Memorial Park for a ceremony that starts at 11 a.m. Other villages, such as Garden City, will also be hosting an antique car parade to celebrate Memorial Day on Saturday, May 30.
—Additional information provided by Nassau County Legislature