PAYETTE - As the list continues to grow of events postponed or canceled in the wake of the novel coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 Apple Blossom Festival has landed on the ‘canceled’ list.
As explained to the newspaper by treasurer and event coordinator Kahlia Morin via email on March 30, the stay-at-home order in Idaho combined with the logistics of planning the festival led to the cancellation.
The festival has been a mainstay event in the community since 1923, rolling out a week’s worth of activities, carnivals and even a royal court.
“As a board we carefully analyzed the situation. As of now Governor [Brad] Little issued a statewide 21-day stay at home order. This pushes things out until April 15th,” said Morin. “The Apple Blossom Festival was set for May 13th-17th. IF the Governor lifted the order then we would have less than a month to plan. That is if he lifts the order. In addition, we don’t know how COVID-19 will affect our community as a whole. There is a lot to consider when planning a major event. Ticket sales may not be supported by our community due to the impact of COVID-19. There are just so many factors.”
Initially, the board planned to postpone the event to early June. But they decided not to test the patience of those involved further.
“Leaving entertainment and vendors in limbo just didn’t seem right. Overall we are all suffering and for some of us it will take a long time to recoup,” added Morin.
She adds that the cancellation gives those involved a chance to work elsewhere
instead of waiting for possibly nothing.
“This way they can prepare for the impact versus leaving them in limbo and not allowing them to possibly book somewhere else. It really is an inconvenience not knowing what the plan is.”
Morin asks the public for their understanding at this time.
“Please accept our apologies. This decision is one of the hardest ones we have had to make. We have already put in countless hours towards the event. But we promise to be back next year. Please stay safe and healthy.”
Morin said that while 2020 is off the table, the Festival is set to take off in 2021, “with a bang!”