MIAMI — Despite today’s uncertain times, officials in Miami and Ottawa County are hard at work trying to keep the wheels turning while doing what’s best for everyone’s safety.
Every year at this time thoughts turn to the much-anticipated annual fall events that are attended by so many from all over the four states and beyond.
Two in particular are Festifall and the Ottawa County Fair and people are concerned that they might not take place this year because of the pandemic.
The Miami Regional Chamber of Commerce organizes the Designs of Autumn Festifall, which is still scheduled to take place, although a little later than in the past.
Originally scheduled for September, it is tentatively being pushed back to October.
“The chamber is still working on our upcoming regularly scheduled annual events, and we are reaching out to talk about our contingent plans and ways to make people feel safe,” said Charlotte Howe, CEO and President of the Miami Regional Chamber and the Miami Area Economic Development Service. “We are figuring out if an event can be held outdoors and spread out, and if we can realistically provide PPEs (personal protective equipment) for those that want them,”.
“We ask everyone for patience during this time and for understanding that it’s possible we may have to cancel or reschedule an event if it becomes necessary, unfortunately.”
In the past, the festival has featured a crab boil dinner, live music, a movie at the Art Park, an art walk, car show, dog show, Mudville Push/Pull Classic competition, kids’ activities, a sidewalk sale, book sale, and chili cookoff in downtown Miami.
“We are looking at some of the community events we love and trying to figure out how we can do them safely, knowing that we may have to cancel if circumstances warrant it. We hope that doesn’t happen, but we have to be realistic,” Howe said.
“We picked the date for Festifall as the first weekend in October, but it is tentative. Plans are moving forward, but we are meeting and working on contingency plans.
“And we are excited about it; it’s such a great event. We pushed it back in the hopes that it will be a little cooler weather. Because it is outside, for the most part, we are hoping it can still go on. We just have to be sure we can do it safely,” Howe said.
For more information about Festifall, call the chamber at 918-542-4481, visit them at 11 S. Main Street, or log onto www.miamiokchamber.com or https://www.facebook.com/MiamiRegionalChamberofCommerce/
Planning for the fair continue while officials meet to iron out details.
The annual event has been in operation since 1920 and features carnival rides, live music, children's activities, craft exhibits, vendors, and a variety of food, attractions, livestock shows, and a premium auction at the fairgrounds.
“It’s a great week and we hope everything runs smooth. Right now everyone has fear of COVID-19 and a lot of counties have canceled their fairs. We are going to do our best to have ours,” said fair board president Jeff Reynolds.
“We are meeting this week to discuss the fair and possibly moving it up a week from the originally scheduled dates in mid-August.”
The fair is organized by the Ottawa County Cooperative Extension Service, Oklahoma State University (OSU).
For more information, visit them at 123 E. Central, Suite 101, Miami, call 918-542-1688, or online at http://extension.okstate.edu/county/ottawa/county-free-fair.html