Salem civic facilities busy with events, despite pandemic

Published: Oct. 23, 2020 at 7:47 PM EDT
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SALEM, Va. (WDBJ) - You can hear the crack of a bat this weekend at the Moyer Sports Complex and the sound of spraying equipment, disinfecting the dugouts and stands.

65 teams from ten states are taking part in an International Senior Softball Association tournament that was postponed in June.

R. B. Thomas is a Roanoke native and the Executive Director of the ISSA.

"We had so many requests when we were shut down, when are you going to get started? When are you going to get started?

“No local teams in this tournament,” said Salem Director of Parks and Recreation John Shaner. “So everybody has to stay in a local hotel, eat in local restaurants, buy gas and hopefully drop a lot of money in the Roanoke Valley this weekend.”

The fields in Salem reopened in early July. Since then the city has hosted 32 baseball and softball tournaments.

The Civic Center has hosted drive-in concerts, fair food weekends, two elections and more than 170 meetings.

All of that activity required extensive research, planning, plenty of creativity and close attention to safety standards.

Wendy Delano is Salem’s Director of Civic Facilities.

“We went from having nothing, to basically having to reopen in a different manner than what we’re totally used to, and it was a challenge,” Delano told WDBJ7. “We’ve put on our thinking caps and we’ve come up with different ways to make ourselves relevant.”

And the year isn’t over yet. The civic center will host all ten Salem voter precincts on Election Day.

And watch out for Winter Wonderlot in December. It’s a fresh take on the Salem Christmas Parade, with the floats standing still, and the audience viewing them as they drive through the civic center parking lot.

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