Happy Summer!!! Considering we just had a whole year snatched from us by the plague-that-shall-not-be-named, I hope you are reading this mag relaxing on your back deck or on your way out the door for a quick summer getaway with your nearest and dearest. My pic was taken in sunny Florida, Panama City Beach to be exact! Sunny summer days have us in the mood for one thing and one thing only: ice cream. Check out the top ice cream shops you can enjoy right here in East Cobb (see pages 24 + 25). And yet, before you know it, school starts on August 2, so we included some Back-To- School editorial tidbits, like the upcoming Ed-SPLOST VI vote (see page 10 for details).

The COVID-19 pandemic has tested all of us — from the young to the old, to the sick and the healthy — each one of us has been impacted by this deadly virus. In this issue, we feature how a couple of East Cobbers coped during the COVID lockdown. On page 8, we spotlight Ali Amirfazil’s trip across the country on his bike! And, on page 27, we compiled Murdock students’ perspectives on lessons they learned from this global health crisis.

And while we have all learned to cope and deal with the stay-at-home orders, mask mandates, travel restrictions, workplace changes and new responsibilities, it has — to put it lightly — not been easy. The past year-plus has been heavy and exhausting, with barely enough time to breathe before the next piece of not-so-great COVID-19 news drops. It seems, though, that we are rounding a corner as cases, hospitalizations and deaths continue to drop and vaccines become more available.

And yet, I have to tell you, dear reader, (in case you did not see my posts on social media) that due to the health climate earlier this year, we decided to cancel the 2021 EAST COBBER Parade + Festival. We understand some of you may question this decision, so let me try to explain. First and foremost, back in February and March we could not predict whether or not the CDC’s guidelines would be relaxed by September. Then, the EAST COBBER Parade + Festival typically takes hundreds of collaborative volunteer hours throughout the year, with contracts signed and commitments made by February each year. We did not feel it was fair to book dozens of small businesses for this one- day special event without full assurance that we would be able to hold up our end of the contract. The logistics of holding a festival during a pandemic that draws thousands of people is daunting, and ultimately not in the best interest (if we had to cancel at the last minute) of business owners and volunteers- all of whom we hold dear. We do not take this decision lightly, and we tried to find a way to carry on, but for now we will need you to mark the third Saturday in September 2022 in your calendars as EAST COBBER’s Parade + Festival’s belated 25th birthday – it’s going to be a big one!

Cynthia M. Rozzo
Founder l Publisher cynthia@eastcobber.com

This article was originally published in the July/August 2021 issue of EAST COBBER. Read the full issue here.