Rose Fest parade 2019

The Kenyon Police Department and Kenyon Veterans Color Guard kick off the Rose Fest parade in 2019. This year grand day parade-goers will have to wait for the 20th annual Rose Fest festival. (Anne Kopas/The Kenyon Leader)

Although the Rose Fest committee took as much time as possible to try and make the annual town festival happen, it couldn’t avoid the inevitable.

Following its Wednesday committee meeting, the group decided to err on the side of caution and cancel the event, well-known for bringing the community together.

Rose Fest chair committee member Heather Kerr announced the cancellation with “great” disappointment through the Rose Fest Facebook page Wednesday evening.

“With public health experts recommending the cancellation or postponement of large public gatherings, it is our responsibility to accept and follow the guidelines in order to keep our community healthy and safe,” stated Kerr in the post.

While a majority of the main events like the grand parade, citywide garage sales, 5K, car show and street dance have been canceled, there will still be some events going on to look forward to.

Kerr says the medallion hunt will still go on as planned, with the first clue making its appearance in the Kenyon Leader July 29. Additional details about the hunt are being worked out by organizers. Although the citywide garage sales typically held during the three-day Boulevard of Roses festival, Kerr says anyone is able to host their own garage sale whenever they would like to, however they cannot use the Rose Fest logo for advertisement or any other purposes.

Kenyon Public Library Director Michelle Otte confirmed the library will still be hosting book sales Aug. 21 and 22 in the City Hall Council Chambers next door, as they are able to aide by state guidelines and control how many people are inside the Chambers at one time. DVDs, CDs, and gently used books can be dropped off at the library during regular hours.

Events requiring a permit from the city like the street dance and the parade were canceled at the July city council meeting, which was held the night before the Rose Fest committee meeting, due to concerns with liability. Although the city is covered for holding events with up to 250 people, it would be difficult to enforce social distancing measures during those two events, and for the parade, keeping track of how many people are attending would prove to be tricky to control.

Reach reporter Michelle Vlasak at 507-333-3128 or follow her on Twitter @apgmichelle. ©Copyright 2020 APG Media of Southern Minnesota. All rights reserved.

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