Update: The parade was postponed due to weather and will now be held Thursday, Sept. 17.
City and state officials will parade through Newark on Thursday evening to remind residents to participate in the U.S. Census.
The deadline for the once-per-decade count is Sept. 30, and the results help direct billions of dollars in federal funds to local communities for schools, roads and other public services.
Newark spokeswoman Jayme Gravell said the parade is part of a statewide outreach campaign, and similar events have been held across the country as officials try to find socially distanced ways to promote the census.
The census takes an average of 5 to 10 minutes to complete electronically, which prevents census workers from going door-to-door during the coronavirus pandemic, she added.
“The intent is to get census information out to residents in their neighborhoods, places of service and through trusted messengers,” Gravell said. ‘This caravan is intended to remind these neighborhoods that they count in the 2020 Census and it's not too late to complete the questionnaire.”
The parade will include Lt. Gov. Bethany Hall-Long, Mayor Jerry Clifton, members of city council and representatives of the U.S. Census Bureau.
Members of the community are invited and welcome to participate in the caravan. Participants will meet and line up at the Newark Municipal Building at 220 S. Main St at 5:30 p.m. The route will travel through the city's main corridors along Main Street and Delaware Avenue.
The Newark Police Department will provide an escort, and everyone will remain in their vehicles for the duration of the caravan.
To fill out the census, call 1-844-330-2020 or visit my2020census.gov.