Organizers of the Kiel Community Picnic announced today that the 2020 Kiel Community Picnic has been cancelled over public safety concerns related to the coronavirus pandemic.
Spokesperson Al Schreiber said the organizers of the picnic made the decision to protect the health and welfare of the residents, visitors and especially the children of the City of Kiel.
Schreiber said it was a difficult decision to make. "There was a lot of discussion amongst our committee, which is comprised of members of the Kiel Lions and Kiel Optimist Clubs. Many factors were considered, and this decision does not come easy. We have been preparing for this event the for the last 10 months, and lots of legwork was committed to our festival. When said out loud at our meeting, it came to many as a gut punch we weren’t expecting."
He added, "The biggest consideration is towards the health and well-being of the children of our community. The Kiel Community Picnic is held 3 weeks before the start of the school year, and if there is any chance there could be a wide-spread Covid-19 infection amongst our children, it would be devastating to the start of the school year. We need to have the education system at full strength, and continuing our festival would put that at risk. It is a risk we are not willing to take."
"With all of the other festivals around us cancelling, and us being one of the only festivals to continue, we could face the potential of having an abundance of extra people attending our picnic. Any other year, that would be tremendous news. This year, however, the potential of having our attendance blossoming could potentially put our law enforcement, safety crews, and community at greater risk of infection. This again is not a risk we are comfortable in taking."
The committee also noted that 40% or more of the volunteers are in the age range considered most susceptible to infection from Covid-19. Many of them have already declined to attend, much less participate.
The bright spot going forward is that we are still going to be conducting our Kiel Community Picnic Raffle, with the top prize being again $1,000.00. Many businesses and organizations have contributed to the expanding prize list for this raffle, with total cash awards approaching $3,000. Please consider supporting our raffle this summer as these tickets will be available through our local merchants and members of our two supporting clubs. Please look for a list of local merchants selling these tickets in the Tri-County News and Tempo, and local advertisements.
The next official Kiel Community Picnic will take place for August 12-15, 2021.