Old Time Saturday, a long- standing community celebration that withstood a 1-year hiatus in 2020, is back this weekend with plenty of fun for everyone.
The Oct. 2 event is on, but with stipulations by city council that those who attend the outdoor event are provided ample use of disinfectants to ensure cleanliness.
The request for council consid- eration came from Eddy Daniel, chair of the Centennial Commit- tee that administers Old Time Saturday, and Dustin Tarrant, chair of the Old Time Saturday committee.
Daniel – whose other city- related role is that of city engi- neer – said he came to the coun- cil after hearing “concerns about COVID” in the community and said he would take his guidance on the future of Old Time Satur- day from whatever city council recommended.
Daniel said the Centennial Committee met the day after the council meeting and decided to proceed with the event. “We’re going to keep Old Time Saturday,” Daniel said, but explained that the committee decided to cancel the auction and dinner that were slated for the evening of Oct. 1. “The rest of the Saturday (Oct. 2) schedule is going ahead,” he said.
He noted that COVID-related hospitalizations in Collin County are declining and said “we are about where we were in early 2021” with regard to the hospitalization rate caused by the COVID-19 virus and its assorted variants.
Daniel and Tarrant said the fes- tival intends to offer hand cleans- ing stations where the vendors will be set up. They will include alcohol-based hand sanitizers and sanitizing wipes for Old Time Saturday attendees to use.
Given certain space limita- tions, even though the event will occur outdoors, Daniel said he cannot guarantee that everyone will be able to observe social dis- tancing. “It’s not going to be easy, he said, so we’re putting in strict protocols” that involve the use of disinfectants.
Police Chief Mike Sullivan, who also serves as the city’s emergency services coordinator, told the council that Collin Coun- ty has 23 acute-care hospitals and that currently about 19 percent of all patients are suffering from COVID-related ailments. “My recommendation is to provide these (cleansing) stations” at Old Time Saturday, “and let’s be sure to watch the numbers.”
Tarrant told the council that the 2018 Old Time Saturday event featured 120 vendors. He also said that “public safety” is the top concern of everyone who is plan- ning the event.
Daniel noted that Old Time Saturday is a major fundraiser for the Centennial Committee, which kicks a lot of money back into the community as a result of the day- long event.
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From Staff reports • [email protected]