Locals celebrate Memorial Day weekend through alternate plans amid pandemic

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Grilling while being surrounded by loved ones is a staple on Memorial Day weekend.

"What can we do that's still special, but minimizes the risk, not just to us, but the people we care about?" said Brandy Sappington.

Brandy Sappington is changing up her traditions to make sure she and her family are safe and healthy this year, by not driving the four hours back home.

"We have a really big family and typically we barbeque, 50-plus people, friends, and family throughout the years. They always drop in throughout the day," said Sappington.

But Sappington has decided not to drop by this weekend. Instead, she is renting a home in Camdenton with only some of her family, keeping their vacation closer to home.

"Found this mansion, that was running a crazy good special on a couple of night rental so we just decided to go for it," said Sappington.

While Sappington has changed her plans this year, officials at the Greene County Health Department know people will still have their annual memorial day barbeques.

They hope you'll serve up safety with the sandwiches.

"I would maybe bring my own food, it's just going to have to be a change of the way we do things, you want to serve things directly off the grill probably onto the plate get rid of that buffet type service, if at all possible," said Clay Goddard, Director of the Springfield-Greene County Health Department.

Officials are also recommending wearing masks to any gatherings.

"If you can be outside, that's better. We know that the airflow, especially outdoors has a mitigating factor against this disease spreading," said Goddard.

Read the original version of this article at www.ky3.com.