(WIVB)–The coronavirus pandemic caused the cancellation of the Ken-Ton Memorial Day.
It’s the first time in decades, the parade has been cancelled, and now some area residents and businesses are disappointed.
“We’re missing a real piece of Americana today and it’s sad for everybody, the vets, the people, the kids especially with the parade, there’s nothing like a live parade,” said Mark Maratto.
Marotto is the owner of Marotto’s Restaurant on Delaware Avenue in Kenmore. He says, the Ken-Ton Memorial Day parade usually brings in big business.
“I usually have a big banquet for the local firehouse, we have 60 plus guys, we have breakfast in the morning, everyone is drinking mimosas, getting loosened-up, then the parade down Delaware Avenue, and plus the bar is full,” he said.
There’s no full bar this Memorial Day, but the business is open for takeout. That’s what’s been keeping them afloat during the pandemic.
“Take out is brisk, but you know, no matter how busy it is you’re just paying the bills, we’re going to wait it out we’re going to ride out the storm,” Marotto said.
Marotto’s not the only one who is missing the parade this year, area resident Louis Capizzi, was also upset when he heard the parade was canceled. Capizzi has been going every year for the last 54 years, and that’s why he decided to run the parade route in honor of the holiday .
“It was great. It’s a beautiful day. I decided to come down here, this is where I’ve done the parade. My first year was in my buggy and carriage, 54 years, I’ve never missed one,” said Capizzi of Kenmore. “So, I said I’m just going to go down and run the route and then finish up and have a beer.”
The parade has been going on for several decades. Typically, it goes from Delaware Avenue in the Town of Tonawanda, and then through the village of Kenmore around Elmwood Avenue.
Angelica Morrison is an award-winning reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2019. See more of her work here.