A local motorcycle club will hold a driveby parade this weekend to support residents of an older adult care facility in Searsport that’s been on the receiving end of an orchestra of honks from drivers since the pandemic began in March.
Neighbors near Bayview Manor know the gestures are meant to support residents in a difficult time, but they say the noise around the facility has become maddening. In some instances they’ve counted upward of 140 honks from drivers in one hour. In recent weeks, the honking has died down slightly, according to neighbors.
However, the Searsport chapter of Chrome Angelz RC Wild Spiritz, an all women’s motorcycle club, is organizing a small parade past the facility on Saturday in conjunction with National Assisted Living Week. They mentioned nothing about honking but are encouraging participants to do whatever they can to make the residents’ day “super special.”
Don’t have a bike? Then bring your “car, truck, elephant, ostrich” or whatever to ride.
“…We want you to join us for an amazing parade and help these residents feel the love during this difficult time,” they said.
With the pandemic presenting an especially high risk to residents of nursing homes, many at Bayview Manor have been largely isolated from their friends and family since March. Drivers started honking earlier this year as they passed Bayview Manor to encourage residents to stay strong.
After receiving complaints from neighbors, the town initially tried to mitigate the noise by putting up a sign that asked drivers to instead wave. But that backfired, with critics calling the neighbors “buzzkills” on social media. People also just seemed to honk more, so the town took the sign down.
Participants in this weekend’s parade will meet at the Dunkin’ Donuts on Route 1 in Searsport around 10:30 a.m. Saturday and drive south, past Bayview Manor for the five-minute driveby.