While the rain tended to damage the sand sculptures a little, the bigger threat to the festival was posed by the snowballing cases of COVID-19 across the city.
Revere Mayor Brian Arrigo, in a press release this Wednesday said “There’s no denying the [festival] is the most exciting event on Revere Beach every year. At the same time, we cannot ignore the science and data – Revere’s case numbers have increased over the last few weeks.”
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The COVID-19 positivity rate is 2.8% in Revere, which is slightly higher than the state’s rate of 2.61%. Officials hope that the newly announced updated safety protocols will help cut down on large crowds in the city.
The release also stated that “Revere Beach Partnership implemented several things to increase the ability of attendees to social distance.” Further adding, it said, “they decreased the total number of sculptures, spaced sculptures over greater distances to try to reduce crowding, spaced food vendors 30 feet apart, spaced exhibitors and sponsors 20 feet apart, and eliminated live music and the central stage.”
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There will also be mobile vaccination clinics, as well as masks and personal protective equipment (PPE) kits available for guests.
Rusty Croft, a sand sculpture from California, said, “This year we’ve stretched the event out quite a long way and there’s no central pile.”
“Everyone can spread out a little more, walk 360 [degrees] around the sculptures so there’s three times the amount of outdoor space to move about in and keep safe,” Croft added.
Gabby Nunez, who lives in Revere, has decided to skip the festival due to her little son.
“Yeah, I’m nervous. He’s not able to get vaccinated so I don’t want to expose him” Nunez explained.
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Rob Selevitch, a Revere resident, will attend the event and believes the city has done an excellent job with the changes.
“I can understand people have to make their own decision on things but you are outdoors, there’s a nice breeze, I mean life is what it is. You take your risks, you take your chances as you see fit” Selevitch remarked.