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For the boards of summertime community events facing decisions on whether to cancel or proceed, "there's no right answer"

Posted: Tue, May 12, 2020 11:15 AM

With Northeast Iowans sheltering in place because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of summertime community events getting cancelled has been climbing.

Both Luther College and Northeast Iowa Community College have cancelled their in-person graduation ceremonies in favor of "Virtual Commencement" ceremonies.  Memorial Day activities in Decorah on May 25th have been cancelled. The NICC Dairy Center's "Breakfast on the Farm" on June 27th will not be held. On that same weekend, Laura Ingalls Wilder Days in Burr Oak has been cancelled.

Now the Howard County Fair Board has cancelled that fair in June, which focuses attention on the Winneshiek County Fair in early July and Nordic Fest the end of July.  The boards of both have been meeting and discussing the fate of this year's events. The Nordic Fest Board will meet on Memorial Day to make its decision. The Winneshiek County Fair Board says it is moving forward with preparations for the July 14th—18th County Fair.

Winneshiek County Public Health Director Krista Vanden Brink says "It's really hard" for groups to make a decision on whether to cancel their events. She says various groups have been reaching out to her agency for advice. The only problem, she says, is that "there's no right answer."