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No Chautauqua, first time in 36 years

Staff Writer
Linn County Leader

On Wednesday, the local organizations that team together to bring Chautauqua to Simpson Park every year announced it had been decided to not hold the event this year, due to concerns of COVID-19.

A press release front he Chamber and Arts Council stated, “The Chillicothe Area Chamber of Commerce and Chillicothe Area Arts Council has made the difficult decision to cancel the 2020 Chautauqua in the Park that was to be held Sept. 12-13. Although we are saddened by this conclusion, much consideration was given by both the Chamber and Arts Council regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, ongoing CDC recommendations, public health authorities, and general public health concerns. We would never want to jeopardize the health and safety of those involved with this event – whether they are vendors, patrons, or volunteers. Because of these reasons, our cherished community event will not take place this year.”

“Chautauqua in the Park is a long-standing tradition in our community that is well attended by both vendors and patrons, and it is of the utmost importance to both of our organizations that its integrity and quality is maintained. In order to have Chautauqua in the Park this year, as well as maintain safe social distancing guidelines, many elements that make our event special and unique would have been eliminated. In doing so, it would simply not be the same Chautauqua in the Park that residents and visitors know and love. Sponsorship cutbacks, lack of vendor participation, and the added costs for necessary preventative measures also weighed heavily in the final decision, according to the press release.

The 2021 Chautauqua in the Park, which will be held on Sept. 11 and 12.