Among the many unfortunate aspects of the coronavirus pandemic were cancellations of public events, including annual festivals and gatherings that are eagerly anticipated by many in the community. The absence of such events starkly demonstrated just how much they contribute to the overall character of our area.

The good news, though, is that the ongoing loosening or elimination of coronavirus-related restrictions is paving the way for the resumption of many traditional activities. In recent days, the Daily News has reported that two significant local events – the Bowling Green International Festival and Community Education’s Stand for Children Day – are back on the calendar for in-person engagements.

First up is the 23rd annual Stand for Children Day, set for 2 to 4 p.m. June 27 at Bowling Green Ballpark. The event – where vendors offer an assortment of attractions meant to raise awareness about issues pertaining to children – was canceled outright in 2020, but in previous years, the event has drawn more than 65 vendors and more than 1,000 children, growth that prompted a move from Kereiakes Park to the Bowling Green Hot Rods’ stadium. Organizers hope to see similar numbers this year.

“We are still figuring out exactly what (COVID-19) guidelines will be in play when event day arrives,” said Joshua Smith, Community Education’s volunteer and outreach coordinator. “But we are hoping it will be a fairly normal day this year.”

For more information on the event, contact Community Education at 270-842-4281 or visit their website at www.commed.us.

Meanwhile, after hosting an entirely virtual event in 2020, the International Festival will return to Circus Square Park on Sept. 25. Some aspects of the event will again be virtual, according to Executive Director Kim Mason, who also said current plans are to limit in-person capacity to 60%, though that could change as COVID guidelines change in coming months. The 31st edition of the festival will follow the format of past events, featuring three stages of traditional and modern music and dance performances, authentic foreign foods, an international bazaar and “edu-tainment” activities.

Mason said as many as 15,000 people have attended previous years’ events, and that 30 different cultures will be represented. For more information, visit www.BGInternationalFest.com or follow the group for updates on social media.

We encourage the Bowling Green and Warren County residents to get out and support these events and organizations, as well as the many others that will be resuming normal activities in the wake of the coronavirus shutdowns. With robust attendance at such gatherings, our community will finally begin to feel like itself again.

“Our Opinion” pieces in the Bowling Green Daily News exclusively represent the majority opinion of the newspaper’s editorial board and do not necessarily reflect the viewpoints or beliefs of any other Daily News employees.