Potomac Day Cancelled This Year

There will be no scouts leading the parade down River Road, no bands, no fancy convertibles, and no candy thrown out for children to scramble for.

Potomac Day has been cancelled because of the pandemic.

This year would have marked the 38th annual event which, Jennifer Matheson, director of Operations for the Potomac Chamber of Commerce, said she can only remember being cancelled one other time.

“That was during the sniper,” she said.

For three weeks in Autumn 2002 the area was terrorized by a series of apparently random shootings accounting for ten deaths and three woundings.

“We have an area with lots of families and older people,” Matheson said. “We have to protect them.”

That was true in 2002 and is true now, with COVID-19 still a major health concern. Which is why there will be no Potomac Day, no parade, no car show, no crafts, no rides, and no business fair.

“It’s a bummer,” Matheson said. “It's really the only thing we have to get the community together.”

Matheson said the decision was made in early May.

She said she usually gets started organizing for Potomac Day in late April, applying for permits and signing people and businesses for sponsorships, so the decision had to be made early.

It turns out to be a good call with Montgomery County still in Phase 2 of reopening, restricting individuals from congregating in large groups.

According to the Montgomery County website, gatherings of more than 50 people continue to be prohibited at all locations and venues, including but not limited to parties, receptions, parades, festivals, conventions, and fundraisers.