It is with a heavy heart that we must announce that Homecomers has been cancelled for this year. With the Corona 19 virus restrictions we have had and the uncertainty we are still facing for the last week of July, we feel that the best option we have is to cancel the event.
We were hoping that Phase 1 of the recovery would end on May 31 st. When it was extended to June 15th we were afraid that Phase 2 would retain many of the same requirements as Phase 1 and that Phase 3 would still make events such as Homecomers impossible to manage safely.
Now that Phase 2 will begin on June 16 th it would seem that it would be permissible to have the event, however governor Parsons said “It is still extremely important for everyone to continue social distancing. Be Proactive. Avoid large congested crowds, and if you can’t social distance, take extra precautions to protect yourself and those around you.”
We do not yet know what the County Health department will allow, but would expect that food vendors would be required to wear masks and gloves, and sanitize the area after serving each customer. Social distancing would still be required, including in the lines that their customers would be waiting in. This would be asking a lot of them and their employees. The distancing requirements would be almost impossible to enforce. We don’t have the space to spread out enough to allow it.
The carnival faces its own unique problems. What would be the restrictions on number of riders, sanitizing the rides, social distancing while in line? Lines at the ticket booth would be another issue. Being on the city streets presents its own problems. We do not have the space to spread the vendors and rides out to allow for better distancing. We are restricted by buildings and streets. We do not charge admission for the event and there are nine streets that lead into the event. It is impossible to police every entrance to control the number of attendees.
In short, it would be almost irresponsible to continue with the event under these circumstances. We are very sorry that we have to make this decision, but feel that it is in everyone’s best interests.
Larry Koehler – Homecomers Chairman Howard Suedmeyer – Post Commander