Glenwood’s Strawberry Days canceled for second straight year due to COVID uncertainty
The Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association board has decided to cancel its Strawberry Days Festival for the second year in a row, due to continued uncertainty over coronavirus risk come June.
“We understand the disappointment the community may feel about this decision, especially when it seems like June is so far away,” Chamber President and CEO Angie Anderson said. “However, an event of this magnitude with so many moving parts requires a lot of advance planning and resources, and we had to make the call now.”
Strawberry Days is typically held the third full weekend of June.
Normally, by now, the chamber would be well into the process of getting contracts in place for vendors, music acts and lining up permits. But, due to an inability to plan ahead for large-scale events given the unknowns of the pandemic over the next few months, the festival will remain on hold until 2022, Anderson said.
Anderson said consideration was given to the unpredictable nature of the coronavirus, timing of vaccine administration and possible continued restrictions for large gatherings. Ultimately, it was determined that canceling the event was a “responsible and necessary decision for the health and safety of the community,” she said.
Currently, Glenwood Springs is open and operating in the Orange level on Colorado’s COVID-19 Dial framework. But, that still does not allow for large crowds to safely gather indoors or outdoors.
“While continuous reduction in the spread of the coronavirus is anticipated, especially as vaccinations are administered, the GSCRA Board believes June is too soon to safely move forward considering Strawberry Days is Glenwood Springs’ largest event, drawing thousands of visitors over its three-day operation,” according to a statement issued by the Chamber on Wednesday.
“While this decision was difficult, we believe it is prudent at this time,” said Eric Brotherson, who chairs the GSCRA Board of Directors. “We are excited to focus our efforts on making the return of Strawberry Days in 2022 a huge celebration for the entire community.”
Anderson added that various alternatives to the larger festival were discussed.
“Ultimately, it was decided to keep the Strawberry Days experience and brand fully intact and focus on making next year’s festival exceptional,” she said.
“We are also keeping options open of possibly hosting a community celebration in the late summer or fall, but it will be something of its own and not Strawberry Days,” Anderson said. “Individually and collectively, the community has overcome many challenges over the last year, and when the time is right we want to gather together to celebrate that in some way.”
Cancellation of the festival doesn’t mean some of the auxiliary events that are organized separately couldn’t still take place, she added.
Those might include the Strawberry Shortcut foot race, and various service club fundraisers that typically take place in conjunction with Strawberry Days weekend.
Updated information on the planning for that event can be found at the Strawberry Days website, http://www.strawberrydays.com.
Strawberry Days celebrated its 122nd year in 2019, although the cancellations these past two years doesn’t disrupt a continuous streak. The festival was also canceled during the World War II years in the 1940s.
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