Plans to celebrate Frederick’s 275th anniversary in 2020 are up in the air, with events in the summer and fall still to be decided as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Preliminary plans for the celebration were announced in December, with the New Year’s key drop and the city’s Fourth of July celebration among events that were announced later.
“Obviously when we started discussing plans for the 275th, we could not have anticipated this significant impact,” Mayor Michael O’Connor said in an email Friday.
They had planned to have most of their celebrations in the second half of the year, but with the future of public gatherings of any size still uncertain, planning and coordination for those events are still on hold, he said.
The city has also suspended active fundraising that would have been needed to help pay for the events, out of respect for what the city’s business community is going through with the economic fallout of the pandemic, O’Connor said.
He noted that, “regardless of what happens with events, 2020 is still the city’s 275th anniversary, a memorable year now for other reasons. Final decisions on what’s possible are still to be made, but we will try to find appropriate opportunities to celebrate, when the time is right, and with appropriate attention to the life, safety, and health of our residents.”
The city began offering online merchandise in late February.
So far, the most popular item has been a lapel pin, said Beth Gura, the city’s 275th Anniversary coordinator.
The pin sells for $5, and is available along with mugs, bronze coins, T-shirts and sweatshirts.
They also recently added patches to the items available, Gura said.
“While we haven’t been marketing these items over the recent weeks, we will begin to do so in the coming weeks,” Gura said.