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Chamber Chat: COVID-19 and the impact on community events

Community events are going to be a lot different this summer as we continue to mitigate and navigate the coronavirus pandemic.

While there have been several cancelations already announced many organizations are evaluating how to proceed with modified traditional events or moving the event to a later date if possible.

The GINCC has been getting several inquiries as to the status of summer events and at this time the best we can say is things are fluid and will adjust according to the how the pandemic plays out.

A recent post on Facebook by the Ishpeming 4th of July Committee: “The Ishpeming 4th of July committee recently met to discuss the 2020 festivities. We realize that events will most likely not take place in the same way we are accustomed to; which means they may have to be reworked, downscaled, or possibly even cancelled. At this time, we are not looking to fully cancel Ishpeming’s 4th of July. We are looking into alternate ways to safely celebrate. The health and safety of our friends, family, and guests are, and always will be, our number one concern.

“Due to the financial impact Covid-19 has had on our community; we have decided that the annual golf outing Fireworks fundraiser will not take place on June 26th, as originally planned. We are looking into a potential reschedule for later this summer. Also, at this time, we will not be accepting parade registrations.

“A final decision will be made the beginning of June. We love the Fourth of July and each year work hard to give the community an opportunity to come together and celebrate; something that is needed now more than ever.”

Events that have confirmed cancellation on the West End are: Ishpeming Kiwanis Golf Outing, Gus Macker Basketball Tournament and the Festival of Treasures. These have been difficult decisions by the organizing committees since they are primary fundraisers and gatherings for the community. The GINCC has had to cancel and indefinitely suspend events which is one of the primary elements for us to provide networking and community building opportunities.

I suspect as we move forward, we’ll see new event concepts come to light and new ways to create meaningful networking. It might be a bit cliché to say events will be moving more to a virtual format, but this might be a reality for many events in the short-term.

Events are celebrations that many people look forward to annually. However, instead of dwelling on what won’t happen let’s appreciate what we have. Make time to connect with those friends and family you typically would see at these events. It’s not the event that’s central, it’s the people you have in your life that’s important.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Bob Hendrickson is the executive director of the GINCC. He currently resides in Negaunee with his wife, Laura, and daughter, Sierra. He enjoys mountain biking, skiing, fishing and hunting along with family time.

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