Well I just got an email from Benjamin Banneker House that they are cancelling an event in June of 2021. Yes, that’s right NEXT SUMMER. Given the current condition of the country and the pandemic, they have decided that it is “neither practical nor prudent” and they are right. We have a long slog ahead of us as we both climb out of this recession and the grips of the COVID pandemic and things aren’t going to change fast. They are going to change but as Bill Clinton was fond of saying “Hope is not a strategy.” (It is in fact a really shitty town in southwestern Arkansas but that’s not what he meant!)
We have proven that reenactments and SMALL events can safely be held during the pandemic — IF WE ARE PRACTICAL AND TAKE APPROPRIATE PRECAUTIONS, but we can’t just jump back to the way things were in 2019 before the epidemic. It may be a long time before we return to what we consider normal an in the interim, tough decisions have to be made. Banneker’s Colonial Market Committee made just that sort of decision.
Its hard, it takes bravery and resolve to make the right decisions. Cowards will wait. Yes, things could get better but what are the odds? If you are wrong, people lose money spent preparing for events that must be cancelled or worse, they get sick at event that are safe. I am glad to see that Maryland stands true to the example set by 1st Maryland Regiment who repeatedly charged a numerically superior British force during the Battle of Long Island. They are taking care of us, and we need to take care of them.
If you don’t know Benjamin Banneker, you are missing a really key bit of Revolutionary War era history. Anyone (but especially African Americans) who cares about science and mathematics and history owes it to themselves to make a pilgrimage to Ellicott City and learn this amazing story. They are not holding a big Colonial Market Fair but they will still welcome you to the sight (in a small group and wearing a mask).