Lee Founders Weekend returning after year absence due to pandemic

A float representing the Dodgetown settlers, the first to settle in Lee in 1760, makes it way along Main Street, during the 2016 Lee Founders Weekend parade. The parade and other events for the three-day outdoor festival return Sept. 17-19, after being canceled last year, during the height of the coronavirus pandemic.

LEE — The Lee Founders Weekend will make a comeback in September.

The popular three-day festival celebrating the town's past, present and hope for the future is scheduled for Sept. 17-19, organizers announced Monday. The event was canceled last year, amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The state's high vaccination rate and Gov. Charlie Baker's decision to lift most COVID-19 restrictions Saturday prompted organizers to schedule the festival, said Colleen Henry, executive director of the Lee Chamber of Commerce, which puts on the event.

"We have been in constant contact with vendors and entertainers to pencil us in, and their response has been very good." she said. "Now, they can use ink."

The Friday events will feature the Taste of Lee, as well as children's activities, street artisans, crafters, and community organizations selling food and goods. Main Street, from Academy Street to Park Street, will be closed to motor vehicle traffic from 5 to 8 p.m. Fireworks will close out the night, weather permitting.

The Saturday events will begin at 8 a.m. with a 5-kilometer road race, followed two hours later by a parade along Main Street.

"This year's grand marshal will honor a number of people representing those professions on the front lines battling COVID-19," Henry said.

Dick Lindsay can be reached at rlindsay@berkshireeagle.com.

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