BINGO! Socially distant take on classic church game is serious business in Edison
As the world continues to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic, a group of bingo lovers made sure they were still able to play the game that they enjoy at a church in Edison.
The church bells of St. Helena’s were mixed with the shouts of bingo numbers this weekend for the first time in two months.
Players started to show up at 6 a.m. from as far away as Pennsylvania, although the game didn’t start until nearly 12 hours later at 4 p.m. Cars lined onto Grove Avenue and down New Dover Road.
Pastor Anthony Siriani said that he prayed that things would go smoothly.
“We can’t be able to support the school without bingo,” he says. “And these wonderful people have been waiting for like five hours.”
But like many new endeavors, this one wasn’t without some hiccups. There was a three-hour wait and traffic jammed up to get in.
The players had to remain in their cars due to social distancing regulations. Some players started to move the cones that were set up so that they could get parking spots closer to the big bingo board up front. It led to a few arguments with people honking their horns and shouting at one another.
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Once the game did start, people parked at the far end were having difficulty hearing the speakers, so the organizers had to form a human chain to shout out the bingo numbers to all of the players.
But eventually, everything started to run smoothly and people said that they had a blast playing.
The organizers say that for the next time they will add more speakers and should have everything running smoothly again by next week.