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Nederland Council cancels 2020 city-sponsored events

NEDERLAND — Some of Nederland’s favorite community events won’t be taking place in 2020.

Nederland City Council members voted unanimously this week to cancel city-sponsored Monsters in the Park, the Veterans Day ceremony and Christmas on the Avenue due to the threat of COVID-19 and staffing deficiencies.

However, not all is lost.

The Nederland Economic Development Corporation is spearheading this weekend’s Fall Market Day on Boston Avenue, bringing together 70 booths, community fun and great sales. The event is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.

The Nederland Chamber of Commerce is also striving to hold the Annual Lighted Christmas Parade in December. A final decision on that event has not been made.

Nederland City Manager Chris Duque says so much of the trouble goes back to COVID-19, which caused the city to lose staff with the subsequent closures of the pool and recreation center.

“It’s all had an impact that is still continuing today,” he said, adding there are some positives. “I was just looking at our COVID numbers and they look promising. The most current one-week average is two cases a day.

“If people continue to do the things that are recommended by the CDC, we should be able to keep that stable. Hopefully we can weather this as we get closer to a vaccine and the time is takes for that to be effective.”

Nederland officials are working on ways to reopen the recreation center.

Job openings have been posted, and Duque said the city has been extremely slow in receiving applications.

“That has a lot to do with the community events,” he said. “There has to be so much staffing that goes into those things. It doesn’t happen overnight. Without the staff it just can’t happen. Those events weren’t going to be doable.”

Nederland has loosened some service restrictions, opening City Hall to the public fulltime and scheduling the full opening of Marion and Ed Hughes Public Library for when early voting is complete.

The first city-sponsored community event in 2021 is the Hooked on Fishing, Not on Drugs fishing derby at Doornbos Park.

“That is very likely going to happen,” Duque said. “It’s not a congregation of people right on top of one another. It’s more families coming out to fish, and they are really more spaced. I see that as a very doable thing. There may be some things Texas Parks and Wildlife recommends as far as how they participate, when they bring in the fish to get weighed and prizes. You can separate into small units instead of mingling into a crowd. As we go forward we are hoping these things can happen.”