Update: Pandemic prompts festival cancellations

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to leave many things in question, some small towns have opted to cancel their annual festivals.

The City of Austin announced in late April that it would not be holding the annual Freedom Fest events at Bandshell Park. The announcement was followed by the Austin Area Chamber of Commerce’s decision to cancel the annual Fourth of July parade.

The Austin City Council will hold a vote on May 18 about whether or not to cancel the annual fireworks display.

Lyle 150th Celebration

The Lyle 150th Celebration Committee announced that it has cancelled the planned 150th Celebration. The decision was made after much consideration and with the well being of the community in mind with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The event was slated to be held June 26-28.

“The health and safety of our attendees, vendors and collaborators comes first,” the Committee said in a press release. “Careful thought was given to other options and although this was a difficult decision, we know it is the right decision. Many factors were taken into consideration, including what social distancing might look like in June and, along with the guidance of state health officials, realizing that many people may feel uncomfortable in any type of large group setting. We also took into account how this would affect the many that would be traveling the distance to attend the different events during the celebration and that we were relying heavily on the crucial planning weeks leading up to the event and attendance numbers.”

The Committee announced that planning will continue to celebrate Lyle’s 150th Anniversary for next year’s celebration, which will be held June 25-27, 2021. 

“We hope that although the celebration is postponed until 2021, everyone will continue to support the anniversary and purchase 150th merchandise!” the press release said. “To our sponsors, if you have already submitted your sponsorship donation, we will hold your donation for next year.”

Blooming Prairie Old-Fashioned Fourth of July

The Blooming Prairie Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Committee and Blooming Prairie Fourth of July Committee also announced that this year’s Blooming Prairie Old-Fashioned Fourth of July has been cancelled.

“There are a lot of unknowns at this time what the near future is going to look like. We do not know exactly what phase we will be in, the amount of people that can gather at a specific location, etc. Many parade units, such as marching bands and entertainment units, are not doing any parades at all this year and have already contacted us to advise they would not come if we were to have a parade,” the Blooming Prairie Area Chamber of Commerce announced Wednesday on its Facebook page. “For everyone’s own safety, Blooming Prairie’s Fourth of July Celebration is cancelled this year for 2020. We will not be having a parade. We will not be having activities in the park.”

The Chamber said that it still plans on hosting the city fireworks this year, though it is still unknown at this time under what circumstances the fireworks will be held. 

“This decision was made to allow all the different vendors and parade units plenty of notice so they can re-adjust their schedule as they see fit for themselves,” The Blooming Prairie Area Chamber of Commerce said. “This was not an easy decision to make. Blooming Prairie’s Fourth of July celebration will be back in 2021!”

Adams Dairy Days

The Adams Booster Club also announced that it decided to cancel Dairy Days 2020, scheduled for June 12-14, amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The health and safety of our attendees, vendors and collaborators comes first and although this was a difficult decision we know it is the right decision,” the Booster Club Board said in a Facebook announcement. “To our sponsors, if you have already submitted your sponsorship donation, we will hold your donation for Dairy Days 2021, to be held June 11-13.”