When people attended Taste of Oakland Park on February 28th, 2020, and enjoyed all the flavors our city has to offer, getting to know our local restauranteurs and food vendors, friends and neighbors, it crossed no one’s mind that that specific event would be the last one held at Jaco Pastorius Park for almost two years.
Oakland Parkers weren’t neglecting the seriousness of COVID-19, it just seemed something that would never reach the community, until it did.
The next event, Youth Day, was supposed to happen on March 14,2020. The City released a notice saying: “Given the declaration of emergency signed by the State, County, and Mayor of the City of Oakland Park with regards to COVID-19 (Coronavirus), city events and facility rentals have been suspended until further notice”. COVID-19 was real, but no one could imagine a quarantine would last so long…
Parks Gradual Re-opening
As much as residents knew the importance of staying home in order to contain the virus, breathing fresh air and doing outdoor activities was something for which people longed. Everyday someone would post on Living in Oakland Park group on Facebook questions like: “When are the parks going to re-open?”.
Then late April, an announce made by Broward County Mayor Dale V.C. Holness stated gradual re-opening of parks, waterways and golf courses was about to begin. Mayor Matt Sparks and City Manager David Hebert started discussions as to the steps Oakland Park would take. Soon almost all of the parks were open to everyone’s great relief.
Phase 1 of re-opening was put into action: “Keep it Moving”. It was designed for passive use and would allow only limited activities, like walking. Social distance and mask use was still mandatory.
Things were far from normal, not even all the parks were open, but at least the residents could enjoy the green areas of some of the parks. Being able to breath and walk outside the house was a great reason to celebrate.
Expectations for the Fourth Quarter
When vaccinations began people felt safer leaving their homes. That post-apocalyptic feeling that we see in the movies had become a real thing until things started to open up. Open air markets and outdoor events slowly brought life back to the community.
Expectations were high that events would soon return Jaco Pastorius. In fact, the City talked about re-opening events starting with the Oktoberfest, but alas it was not to be. The Delta variant, led City leaders to err on the side of caution and cancel the event.
While many were sad to see the Oktoberfest cancelled, the decision to stay shut down would not last for much longer.
Oakland Park Moonlit Movies: A Family Event
A mix of joy, excitement and relief took over Oakland Parkers when, in early November, the City announced that Moonlit Movies were back. Oakland Parkers could finally come together at Jaco Pastorius for one of the many events which they love so much. And even though things aren’t like they were before and will not be like they were before, it’s nice to see community events coming back!
On November 12th and 13th, the movie sessions will start featuring Disney Pixar’s Soul.
Although it’s a free event, participants must reserve tickets via eventbrite. Each ticket corresponds to a viewing area, and maximum of 5 people are allowed per viewing area.
The movie will start at 6:30 pm. Make sure you bring your lawn chairs, blankets and snacks. For more information, please call 954-630-4500.