John Carr: Pops section is example of what Salisbury was close to having

Published 12:10 am Sunday, September 5, 2021

By John Carr

On Wednesday afternoon, the decision was made to cancel Pops at the Post. In today’s edition, there is also a special section that is meant to promote and be a guide to the event.

The Pops at the Post section was designed, written, and printed a few days before the difficult decision was made to cancel the event. After some thought, we decided to distribute the section despite the cancellation. The least we could do was share with the community the plans for the event, even if we could not have it. We hope it may serve as a bit of a reminder that COVID-19 has not only taken lives; it has hampered our ability to live.

We consider Pops at the Post one of Salisbury’s most-anticipated events. This year, it was rescheduled from a spring event to a fall event mostly to provide the extra time that would help ensure a safe post-COVID event.

For months, the board, many supporters and the vital support of generous donors and sponsors worked to plan a fall event that would be special. That plan worked out perfectly to coincide with the official opening of the Bell Tower Green Park and the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attack. The former would be a time of celebration of Salisbury. The latter will be a somber remembrance of an attack that changed our country, our lives, world history and led to decades of war.

Those two sentiments are hard to craft into one event. After months of planning, this year’s Pops was set up to do a very good job of it.

Then, the delta variant swept in, with reports of it being both more contagious and more likely to affect younger victims. Pops organizers hoped to stay the course and hold the event they have been working on for months.

The trends only worsened. Just days ago, we published a story indicating 18% of Rowan-Salisbury students were quarantined. Hospitals are as full as they’ve ever been with COVID-19 patients. Deaths are increasing. Most recently, the Cheerwine Festival announced its cancellation.

The writing was on the wall at this point. When the announcement came that Pops would also cancel, it was a disappointment, but it also was a relief. It seemed unavoidable.

We hope you enjoy the Pops section and have some appreciation for the great event we were so close to having.

We also hope it builds some sense of anticipation because Pops will be back because of the volunteers, supporters, sponsors, attendees, and readers like you.

John Carr is publisher of the Salisbury Post and Salisbury Newsmedia LLC.