The Coronavirus has disrupted scheduled events and gatherings for the last several months, and now, it looks like it could be doing the same to some later in the year. At the monthly meeting of the Warsaw Chamber of Commerce (done via Zoom), the matter of WarsawFest came up. Every year, on the second week of October, when summer vacations are done with and school is up and running,WarsawFest helps welcome fall to the town of Warsaw. It was supposed to be discussed on March 25, but the meeting was canceled due to concerns about the virus. Presently, its fate seems rather up in the air.
“I think we need to set a new date for it this year,” Sara Carrol commented during the meeting. “I’m a little scared to start planning and sending stuff out and then have to cancel it all.”
“I think we need to postpone to next year,” Brigitte DuPey-Lewis chimed in afterwards. “There are going to be lots of expenses, and I think they will go down the drain. I don’t want to look negative, but when you stop too often on an issue, it doesn’t stop just like that. This is such an unknown factor.
“When we start to reopen,” she continued, “what will happen? Will it be masks, no masks? Will there be any talks of distancing?”
Juliana Grassia was next to speak, noting that the biggest x-factor in all of this was how people would act afterwards.
“It’s hard to tell,” she commented, ”even if things get better, how peoples’ behavior will change. Will people be afraid to come to a big event like WarsawFest? I know Menokin has been talking about with our big programs in the fall; will people want to come out to them?”
“From what I’ve been hearing,” Du-Pey Lewis said afterwards, “there’s talk about how a lot of things are going to change, and it looks like if there’s a public gathering, people will have to have a mask.”
Carrol spoke up next, noting the impact that the uncertainty might force a change in an event held this year.
“I think at this point, if we do some type of WarsawFest per se, it’s definitely not going to be the big thing we usually do, maybe even just do an all-day music thing. I’ll put together a letter to our vendors, because I think it will be too much, with everything going on, to do all that and make it be last-minute. Throwing together a band and such is not as hard as securing vendors and all of that. We’ve done that before.”
Fortunately, last year’s WarsawFest was quite successful, giving the Chamber of Commerce a decent cushion to help soften the blow this would inflict. It still remains to be seen what form WarsawFest will take on this year, if it any.