Parade of Appreciation Boosts Old Greenwich Merchants on the Frontline during COVID-19 Pandemic

Parade to thank local merchants in Old Greenwich. April 9, 2020 Photo: Lindsay Keller

Parade to thank local merchants in Old Greenwich. In addition to homemade posters, this car had a giant teddy ear in the front seat, a nod to the bear hunt! April 9, 2020 Photo: Lindsay Keller

On Thursday Old Greenwich residents held a parade to thank Old Greenwich merchants.

The event started at 3:30pm with a loop starting at St. Saviors.

From there, the car caravan moved up Sound Beach Avenue to Arcadia, through the Post Office drive-through behind Kings and the train parking lot, back down Sound Beach to West End Ave, behind the fire station and CVS, and finally to the traffic circle by Old Greenwich School.

Kids held homemade signs out of car windows and sun roofs, and there was continuous honking for about ten minutes.

Smiling employees stood outside their businesses and waved.

Everyone adhered to social distancing and stayed in their cars.

Rob Guerrieri of Upper Crust Bagel Company, which has been busy delivering food to first responders on the front lines at Stamford and Greenwich Hospital, said the sky cleared just in time for a beautiful gesture by residents and friends, and that the merchants waved and cheered as cars went by.

Upper Crust's head baker Ricardo Gomez has been busy making Easter rainbow bagels customers can pre-order for the weekend. Upper Crust Bagel Company Facebook page.

Upper Crust’s head baker Ricardo Gomez has been busy making Easter rainbow bagels customers can pre-order for the weekend. Upper Crust Bagel Company Facebook page.

“When the parade of Old Greenwich residents drove their cars, decorated with poster, balloons and cheering children into our village of Old Greenwich to thank the OG Merchants, it warmed my heart and brought tears to my eyes,” Guerrieri said. “It is an amazing feeling to be recognized for all the service, effort and hard work we all put in day in and day out.  It is truly an honor to be a part of this wonderful town.”

Rich Fulton, owner of Chillybear, which is taking orders online and operating its design, printing and embroidery department via email, said the parade was appreciated.

“It was so sweet of the OG community to ‘give a honk’ to the stores and services that have quickly adapted to keep customers and employees safe during COVID-19,” Fulton said.

Alison Barlow, founder of Alive Wellness on Arcadia Rd who was key in organizing the parade, said, “OG is truly are a tightly knit community who love and support each other through thick and thin.”

“Everyone is scared by this pandemic and also concerned for the health of our families. To know our local businesses are still serving us means everything and we are all supporting them in every way we can,” she said. “They are OUR frontline workers and the parade was a way for families to show appreciation and gratitude to owners and workers who are showing up each day in spite of the risk.”

Barlow quoted her 11-year old daughter Sienna who phrased it best, when on the way home said, ‘The sun is shining because the world is happier now.’

Indeed, the message was LOUD and clear. Residents appreciate their local businesses, who are the frontline workers during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Parade to thank local merchants in Old Greenwich. April 9, 2020 Photo: Lindsay Keller

Parade to thank local merchants in Old Greenwich. April 9, 2020 Photo: Lindsay Keller

Parade to thank local merchants in Old Greenwich. April 9, 2020 Photo: Lindsay Keller

Parade to thank local merchants in Old Greenwich. April 9, 2020 Photo: Lindsay Keller