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Italy has its opera serenades. New York residents their  7 p.m. applause for health care workers and first responders. Colorado has adopted ‘the howl.” By now, Salida residents, along with people across the state of Colorado, are becoming familiar with what is being called the “Howl at Eight.”  Beginning as a reaction to the coronavirus pandemic known as COVID-19, the event allows people everywhere to step outside to share a moment of solidarity through howls.

Picture by JenMarie Zeleznak. (Courtesy Facebook)

This movement started due to COVID-19 and social distancing. Initially, it was a Facebook group, but it has now become a collaborative nightly event.

As expressed by many participants and local leaders, the howling unites the community in a time when so many feel alone. Participation in ‘the howl’  offers a way to say thanks to all the essential workers, as well as a moment to grieve those lost. Mainly, it is a way for the community to come together.

The howl can be enjoyed by people of all ages, as Salida City Council Member Alisa Pappenfort discussed in a City of Salida column late last week.

The invitation is wide open. For those who have yet to howl at 8 p.m., maybe tonight is the night?