Labor Day festivities canceled in Rector, parks left empty

Labor Day festivities canceled in Rector, parks left empty

RECTOR, Ark. (KAIT) - For some Region 8 towns, it was a quiet Labor Day as public events were canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Typically, the Rector Memorial Park is filled with people from both near and far for the annual picnic.

But Monday it sat empty.

The benches, picnic tables, and community stage all empty.

Unlike in years past, the town’s Main Street saw little traffic and few visitors.

“It has been rather eerie over this past weekend,” said resident Jane Gatewood. “Different friends have said, ‘This is very strange, so empty.’ The crowds would’ve been here for the parade this morning at nine, the politicians would’ve been here, they would’ve all ended up at the Memorial Park.”

Gatewood volunteers as the communications director at the Rector Community Museum. Normally, she said the streets are buzzing with people for the entire weekend.

She fears for the future of the Woodland Heights Cemetery. Money raised during the Labor Day picnic goes towards the upkeep and maintenance of the cemetery.

Without the festival, she said there might not be as much money raised, but she encourages people to still donate.

“The opportunity to donate to the Woodland Heights Cemetery commission is available to anyone,” she said.

To view a list of donation options, click here.

“We in Rector love our homecoming events,” she said. “We have missed you. It has been almost sad, today especially. This weekend has been like no other.”

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