ROXBURY, NJ – There will be no Home for the Holidays street fair in Roxbury this year, thanks to COVID-19, but some of the township’s basketball hoops – taken down this spring as the pandemic struck – will be re-installed, said Roxbury Mayor Bob DeFillippo on Tuesday.

Discussing township matters in his weekly “Community Update” preceding the Tuesday meeting of the Roxbury Mayor and Council, DeFillippo reported an undesired uptick in COVID-19 cases. “Since our last council meeting, confirmed COVID cases took an unfortunate jump from 333 to 350,” said the mayor. “That is not the direction we were hoping for in Roxbury.”

The number includes people with Roxbury addresses who might not be living in the township, such as college students, he noted.

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The continued presence of the coronavirus prompted township officials to pull the plug on the annual Home for the Holidays, an event that had been scheduled to take place on Main Street in Succasunna on Dec. 5. This year’s event would have been the sixth.

“The organizing committee made this difficult decision in the interest of public safety,” DeFillippo said. “Hopefully, these and all the other events that have been canceled can be brought back next year.”

However, basketball players won’t have to wait until then to return to some outdoor public courts. The mayor said the township Department of Public Works (DPW) will be re-installing basketball hoops at the Mooney Mountain, Lower Berkshire Valley, Port Morris and Dell Avenue courts.

The hoops were removed in mid-March in an effort to stop the spread of the virus.

DeFillippo said the basketball hoops at Horseshoe Lake Park in Succasunna will remain uninstalled for the time being. He said their re-installation depends on the behavior of people at the courts where the hoops are being reinstalled.

“As we have in the past, township employees will monitor the basketball courts,” said the mayor. “If players and observers practice reasonable social distancing, we will consider a limited reopening of the basketball courts at Horseshoe Lake.”

DeFillippo acknowledged the public frustration over the lingering government restrictions.

“I know we are all tired of this pandemic and even less tolerant of the quarantine and social distancing rules we are expected to follow.,” he commented. “But it is too dangerous to relax those guidelines. We are coming into the cold and flu season and now is not the time to stop wearing masks and staying six feet apart – especially when we are indoors.”

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