5/14/2020 10:57:00 PM Businesses Reopening, But Events Being Cancelled
Wayne Howard Staff Writer
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to force the cancellation of many of the usual activities of Spring & Summer and now it has erased one annual event from the Fall schedule.
Denver Days and the Music in the Park concerts won't be held this year. The Board of Directors voted to forego the eighteenth year of Denver Days and the other events. All 2020 sponsorship and vendor fees received will be returned.
“These events bring visitors from all over our state and beyond. It is with regret this action was necessary,” said Jack Funk, Denver Days Board Member. “This decision was not an easy one, but is the safest and most responsible thing to do during these uncertain times.”
Planning is already underway for the return of Denver Days in 2021. The Music in the Park concerts at Rescue Squad Park in Denver (always the third Saturday of summer months) are tentatively scheduled for 2021 on May 22nd, June 18th, July 16th and August 21st. The Denver Days Fall Festival will return the first weekend of October (October 1-2) next year.
Denver Days and the other events have helped the Denver/Lake Norman Rotary Club make $10,000 yearly contributions to Rescue Squad Park. Total contributions to date now total more than $190,000.
It had already been reported that Lincolnton won't have an Independence Day Parade this year. The City will still have its July 4th fireworks at Lincolnton High School Stadium, but you won't be able to watch the show there. Instead, people will be asked to watch from their cars.
The Denver Fireworks Extravaganza that was planned for the Saturday before July 4th won't be held that date. Plans are now to hold the event, which includes a music concert featuring multiple artists, on the last Saturday in July (July 25th). If all goes well, the music program will still be held on the new date. Craig Campbell, Mikele Buck, Brooke Lee & Kelby Costner are tentatively scheduled to perform with the show opening at 4 PM and the fireworks concluding the evening.
So far, the Apple Festival in October and the Apple Queen Pageant in August are still scheduled.
North Carolina is currently in Phase One of Governor Cooper's three-phase reopening. The second phase appears likely to begin May 22nd. While there has been considerable criticism of Cooper and many have called for a quicker reopening, there is still a mixed opinion of whether reopening more quickly is a good idea.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert, testified before the US Senate this week that reopening too quickly could produce a second wave of the coronavirus. Fauci warned that we could experience “suffering and death that could be avoided,” as well as additional economic damage, if states ignore federal guidelines, including delaying reopening of most businesses until they see dramatic declines in cases.
North Carolina, like almost every state, continues to see more cases of the disease, although the number of new cases has declined in some states compared to the number of new cases a few weeks ago.
Phase One has resulted in some businesses that had been closed reopening, but some remain closed; gyms, barber shops, hair & nail salons, theatres, etc. won't be able to reopen until Phase Two. Some other businesses have remained closed although they are not required to do so.
When the pandemic became a major threat, many stores shortened their hours including most grocery stores. Publix announced this week that starting Saturday (May 16th) its stores will operate 7 AM - 9 PM and the pharmacy will return to regular operating hours.
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