Applefest canceled due to ongoing COVID-19 concerns

By: 
Steve Chapman

Marionville’s Applefest parade still a possibility, will be decided in August
This year’s Applefest is not to be. The festival, held every September in Marionville, has been canceled this year due to concerns surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s the first time the festival has been canceled in its 32-year history.
John Conn, Applefest secretary, said the festival organizers were concerned that there would be no way to ensure those attending the festival could be protected from contracting the coronavirus while they were at the event.
“After considerable discussion,” he said, “including information from the Lawrence County Health Department, input from authorities, and also with the number of people contracting the virus continuing to rise in the state, and the knowledge that we did not have the workers or staff to enforce any type of safety guidelines or being able to adequately keep the restrooms, picnic areas, carnival area, and kids zone sanitized properly, we felt that the best path forward was to dismiss Applefest for the year of 2020.”
 While the festival is canceled, Conn said members of Marionville High School’s class of 2020 still have a chance to compete for a college scholarship.
“We did vote to hold a special one-time scholarship for a Marionville High School senior,” he said. “It will be based on an essay written on the theme: ‘Covid-19, The Good, The Bad, The Ugly. How has this year’s pandemic affected their past, present, and future.’ The entries must be submitted to Applefest by July 1. The committee will choose the winner on July 7, and the scholarship will be presented to the winner at the Senior Awards program on July 9.”
One part of Applefest that may still go forward is the parade. Conn said a decision hasn’t been made yet.
“We did not decide whether to cancel the Applefest Parade, yet,” he said. “That decision will be revisited in August.”
Conn also said while this year is a setback for the festival, it still has a long future ahead of it.
“This isn’t the end of the Applefest Beauty Pageant and the Applefest Festival, it is only a temporary setback,” he said. “We plan to press past 2020 and look forward to 2021. Our goal is to make 2021 bigger and better than Marionville has ever experienced. There was not a single person who wanted this to happen; however, we also do not want to be responsible for even one person becoming sick or even dying because we wanted our way.”

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Lawrence County Record

312 S. Hickory St.
Mt. Vernon, MO, 65712
www.lawrencecountyrecord.com

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