Merion Village Garden Tour will continue with social distancing, video component

GARY SEMAN JR.
gseman@thisweeknews.com
Allison Willford, co-organizer of the Merion Village Garden Tour, stands at Walker Park, one of the stops at this year's event from July 12 to 18. Because of the ongoing COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, the tour has been limited to front yards, and a video tour is available at merionvillage.org.

The 21st annual Merion Village Garden Tour will be limited in scope but promises color and beauty.

Allison Willford, a co-organizer, said the tour will be held only in front yards because of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

"We talked about canceling and heard from neighbors that they would really enjoy a tour, so we put together the most contactless tour we could," Willford said.

The tour begins at 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, July 12. It will extend to July 18, and the self-guided tours can occur during daylight hours, Willford said. In the past, the tour had been only one day.

From noon to 3 p.m. July 12, St. Paul's Lutheran Church and School, 322 Stewart Ave., will hold an ice cream social and hand out bottled water.

Meanwhile, tour organizers are compiling a video of displays from both front yards and backyards. Tour stops, the video and additional information are available at merionvillage.org or on the organization's Facebook page.

Willford said the tour won't be the same without social interaction among participants.

"I think it's more the community experience," she said. "And we do have some nice backyards, so that's a bummer."

Jessica Norman, president of the Merion Village Association, said Willford and other organizers deserve credit for not canceling the tour and creating safe-distancing practices.

"The No. 1 thing we had to consider was safety – safety of the people hosting the garden tour and people who would be coming to the garden tour.

"I think it was important for us to find a way to have this in some form."

gseman@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekGary