It is with deep disappointment that Community Revitalization is announcing the 2020 Party in the Park summer series has been cancelled due to COVID-19 concerns and related issues. This would have been the 18th year for the popular entertainment gatherings in Central Park hosted by Charles City’s Main Street Iowa program.
“This was an extremely difficult decision for our organizing committee and the Community Revitalization Board of Directors because Party in the Park has become such a big summer tradition in Charles City,” said Community Development Director Mark Wicks. “Beyond the entertainment value, this event brings our community together, attracts visitors from out of town and provides a significant economic benefit for Charles City. We tried very hard to still make Party in the Park possible in what has been a most difficult and uncertain year for many of us. However there were just too many factors this year working against us.”
The four original Party in the Park dates were May 29, June 19, July 31 and August 14. The first two events were postponed due to COVID1-19 concerns and rescheduled for August 28 and September 18 in hopes the pandemic situation would improve by then.
“Our primary concern is always the public’s health, safety and enjoyment at any of our events, and the number of COVID cases in our area and state haven’t gone down and stayed down as we all had hoped they would,” Wicks commented. “As a result we have been hearing a lot of growing anxiety and concerns from the public in regards to large gatherings.”
That was just reinforced by a recent Charles City Pulse Poll that indicated less than 34 percent of the public felt comfortable attending large gathering events right now. Just over 50 percent of those polled said it could be three months or longer before they would attend such an event.
In addition to the general public, some Party in the Park sponsors, activity providers and event volunteers also voiced concerns and discomfort with moving forward with the event this summer. That was one of a number of factors taken into consideration by the committee and board in ultimately reaching the decision to cancel this week, according to Wicks.
“In the end we feel this is the right thing to do, the responsible thing to do,” he said. “That doesn’t mean we have to like it or that it won’t hurt our organization financially. But we feel that it is in the best interest of our community right now. Hopefully this time next year we can all be getting back together and Party in the Park again!”
Wicks noted that the Party in the Park Committee would still like to provide an alternative entertainment event for the community this summer that could be done in a safe and social distancing manner. Committee members are brainstorming what that might be and hope to make an announcement in the near future. The public is also encouraged to share ideas with the Community Revitalization office at (641) 228-2335 or firstname.lastname@example.org.