Selectmen discuss how to hold events safely at Ned’s Point

Jul 28, 2020

MATTAPOISETT — Town Administrator Michael Lorenco said at a July 28 Selectmen’s meeting that he received requests for weekly yoga sessions and six weddings at Ned’s Point Lighthouse in August.

While they normally wouldn’t be an issue, the event requests present challenges during a pandemic.

While the state does not limit on how many people can gather outdoors, all three Selectmen agreed to set new limits on the amount of people at events. Lorenco threw out 25 as a number, but Selectmen wanted the cap closer to 10 or 15 people.

The board discussed the implications of having both types of events at the park and what would need to happen in order to make them safe for attendees and other park goers.

As someone who oversees a park for the state, Selectman John DeCosta said state parks are “regularly at capacity” and have to turn people away. 

While the park is more crowded on weekends, DeCosta said it’s busy even on a Wednesday morning. 

Selectman Jordan Collyer said that weddings are a “double-edged sword.” A wedding would draw a crowd, but if the town doesn’t approve a ceremony, the couple may just do their vows at the park anyway, without the town’s blessing. 

Chairperson Paul Silva said anything over 10 to 15 people would overcrowd at the park for yoga sessions. 

Lorenco said the sessions would be every week in the morning, and the person behind the proposal is willing to work with the town on guidelines. 

Silva suggested that there be an area in the park roped off for events only. For yoga, Collyer also suggested the town make sure that people are spaced six feet apart. 

All three Selectmen likened to the idea of a separate events space.

Collyer said to “have some sort of semblance of order would be better,” and also proposed that there be an event space at the park beyond the pandemic.