Parker Days Festival 2020 is officially canceled, event organizers announced April 27, stating the move was made “out of an abundance of caution.” The first confirmed cases of COVID-19 occurred …
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Parker Days Festival 2020 is officially canceled, event organizers announced April 27, stating the move was made “out of an abundance of caution.”
The first confirmed cases of COVID-19 occurred in Douglas and Summit counties March 5. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment reported more than 10,000 have tested positive for COVID-19 as of April 27. Douglas County is transitioning out of the statewide stay-at-home orders, but health experts have insisted measures to prevent the spread of the virus will need to be implemented for possibly months after the order is lifted.
The Parker Area Chamber of Commerce organizes Parker Days each year and announced the decision on its Facebook page. The festival was scheduled for June 11-14.
“We have come to this decision after much careful deliberation, including exploring the viability of postponing the festival to late summer or fall, and with careful and ongoing consultation with local and state government authorities,” says the April 27 statement. “It takes something truly momentous to interrupt a 45-year Parker tradition as special as Parker Days, but we feel strongly that the most prudent course right now is to allow more time for the public health situation to stabilize. We thank everyone for their patience as we have considered all of the matters necessary in making this difficult decision.
“The cancellation of this year's festival will no doubt come as a terrible blow to our incredible crew, volunteers, marketplace and food vendors, suppliers and sponsors who work so hard to make Parker Days Festival happen for our community.
“With that said, work has already begun on Parker Days 2021, June 10-13. We extend our heartfelt thanks for the tremendous community support over the years and we look forward to welcoming you all to an extra special community celebration next summer! In the meantime, please stay healthy and safe. We'll get through this difficult time together — we are Parker Strong!”
Parker Days draws thousands of people every day during the four-day festival. Families come from throughout Douglas County and the south metro area for one of the area's first major family events of the summer. The festival shuts down most of downtown for the weekend and generates close to $2 million in economic activity.
The Town of Parker, which does not operate the festival, released a statement regarding the festival's cancellation:
"The Town of Parker and the Parker Chamber of Commerce have a long history of working in partnership to bring a successful Parker Days Festival to our community each year. Our residents and visitors, many of whom plan their summers around this beloved annual event, will understandably be disappointed to miss it in 2020. However, the town respects the Parker Chamber’s difficult decision to cancel Parker Days this year to help ensure the safety of our community during the current health pandemic. We look forward to welcoming this favorite event back to our community in 2021!"
The Downtown Business Alliance released a statement regarding the loss of the festival. The group of Mainstreet-area business owners see a spike in activity with the thousands that populate downtown for four days in June.
“The DBA looks forward to the Parker Days Festival every year, like so many thousands of others in Douglas County and statewide. Annually, we have relished the opportunity to showcase downtown Parker, celebrate with others and join in the history of Parker by participating in one of its oldest traditions. But 2020 is different. We completely understand, and support, the Parker Chamber’s decision to cancel this year’s event. Our collective hearts are broken, but we know the 2021 Parker Days will be the best yet. Meanwhile, we continue to support our members by doing anything and everything we can to help them survive these challenging times.”
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