Flaming Gorge Days canceled

COVID-19 impacts summer events

Flaming Gorge Days 2020 won’t happen.

An announcement canceling event was released Tuesday afternoon, citing the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic as the main reason for the event’s cancellation.

“We have been carefully monitoring updates from the CDC and the State of Wyoming, as well as those from our local officials. This event requires several months of pre-event preparation, which would be incompatible with the state health orders and guidance on social distancing,” the statement from the Green River Development Fund reads.

Postponement wasn’t an option because of how a late Flaming Gorge Days would interfere with later summer events

Several events throughout the spring have been cancelled as a result of social distancing guidelines set forth by the state. Along with several types of businesses, gatherings of 10 people or more have been prohibited to prevent the spread of the disease. This isn’t the only summer event to be cancelled as a result of these guidelines. The Sweetwater County Events Complex announced the cancellation of the Escapees RV Club’s 60th annual Escapade, which was originally scheduled to take place June 21-26. So far, the Sweetwater County Fair, which is scheduled for July 26-Aug. 1, is still planned to take place.

In the events complex’s case, the cancellation impacts its budget as it loses revenue from both its nearby RV campground and building rental fees. Green River will see similar impacts as the town will lose a significant amount of the sales tax revenue the event traditionally brings.

It’s just a tough day,” Dawn Coursey, hair of the Flaming Gorge Days Committee said. “We just have no choice.”

Coursey said this is the first time the event has been cancelled in its 64-year history. Planning for the event starts as early as September, but Coursey said they needed to make a decision because they have to sign contracts and commit to the event. Despite not knowing if public gatherings will be allowed by June, Coursey said the development fund paying for the event could not take the loss if Flaming Gorge Days could not occur.

“We have to commit to bands and so many other things ... we can’t do it,” she said.


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