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Serving Northern St. Louis County, Minnesota

Ely’s Harvest Moon Festival canceled for 2020

Decision comes as COVID-19 numbers increase in Minnesota

Keith Vandervort
Posted 7/29/20

ELY – As anticipated, the Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors here officially canceled the 2020 Harvest Moon Festival. The “no-go” decision was made Monday morning during a …

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Ely’s Harvest Moon Festival canceled for 2020

Decision comes as COVID-19 numbers increase in Minnesota

Posted

ELY – As anticipated, the Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors here officially canceled the 2020 Harvest Moon Festival. The “no-go” decision was made Monday morning during a special meeting.
“Board members shared existing concerns and restrictions that made moving forward with the event impossible,” said Executive Director Eva Sebesta. “Current guidelines for events limit gathering size to 250 people. With the event drawing approximately 5,000 people per day in previous years, there is no feasible way to restrict attendee numbers within Whiteside Park.”
When the Blueberry/Art Festival was canceled back in April, Chamber Event Director Ellen Cashman pivoted to create the virtual Blueberry/Art Festival as well as “Operation Blueberry.” The chamber is moving forward with similar events for the Harvest Moon.
Artists, crafters, and makers currently registered for the Harvest Moon Festival will have the option to participate in the virtual festival, which will run from Sept. 10-30.  The chamber has notified vendors of the cancellation and is working with them to create the virtual festival, according to Sebesta.
A second component of the revamped fall festival, “Business Harvest Days,” will run from Sept. 10 -15. 
“Similar to ‘Operation Blueberry,’ businesses can create their own sales, activities, or promotions,” Sebesta said. 
The Chamber will organize the business event, create a map and participant list, and share posts to social media. 
“Businesses may choose to partner with other businesses to create a unique fall get-away package, host a music event, offer themed beverages or menu items, sales or discounts, or host a nonprofit at their location,” she said. Registration is open until Friday, Aug. 21.
Businesses that create a harvest-themed window banner for the event are eligible to win a Chamber membership.  The first-place winner will receive a one-year Chamber of Commerce membership, second place receives $150 off a membership, and the third-place prize is $100 off a membership.
For more information, contact Cashman, at events@ely.org, or call 218-365-6123.

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