The Greenville Tourism Fee has canceled this yr’s Squash & Gobble Artwork Bazaar and Fall Competition resulting from considerations with crowd management whereas the neighborhood continues to be within the midst of the pandemic.
The autumn competition, which has been going down yearly since 2009 — apart from final yr when it was additionally canceled resulting from COVID-19 — usually garners a crowd of greater than 10,000 over the course of the weekend. The occasion, which often takes place in September, attracts artisans from throughout Kentucky and the tri-state who come to promote their wares in downtown Greenville.
In its first yr, there have been about 50 distributors and the final competition in 2019 had greater than 180 cubicles.
Colbi Ferguson, tourism fee govt director, mentioned there are plans to proceed the competition as soon as the specter of the coronavirus is within the rearview mirror.
“It is without doubt one of the neighborhood’s, and my fee’s, favourite occasions,” she mentioned. “It has definitely develop into the signature occasion for Greenville. We sit up for having it once more when it’s secure to assemble in giant crowds of 10,000-plus.”
Meals, artwork demonstrations, music and actions for youngsters and households make this a busy occasion from year-to-year, which is why the tourism fee has opted to cancel.
In an emailed letter, the fee mentioned after months of discussions with officers from town and Muhlenberg County, together with legislation enforcement, first-responders and medical professionals, the logistics of crowd management turned a difficulty.
“We honor and respect their steerage on this matter,” the letter mentioned. “With that mentioned, it’s with very heavy hearts that we’re asserting the cancellation of the 2021 Squash & Gobble Artwork Bazaar and Fall Competition.”
Fee members went on to say within the letter that the choice was not made flippantly and was made at the very least 5 months prematurely of the occasion to be courteous of artisans and neighborhood companions. The occasion is a months-long planning course of, and with out understanding what sort of laws could also be in place on the time of the occasion makes it tough to maneuver ahead with these plans.
“Each different has been explored, however most require important downsizing which might affect the success of future occasions,” the letter mentioned.
Rather than the competition, the fee is planning different methods for the neighborhood to get collectively at smaller occasions.
Ferguson mentioned there are at present plans for smaller occasions for the autumn season, together with a brand new one which can be 5 days lengthy and embrace a 5K race. Extra particulars about that occasion can be introduced when contracts are finalized.
The fee can be bringing again Pumpkin Hole once more this yr. In the course of the inaugural occasion final yr, pumpkins have been out there for choose up in downtown Greenville. Households embellished the pumpkins that have been then positioned alongside a path on the metropolis’s Brizendine Nature Park.
Additionally returning this winter would be the second-annual Tinsel City Tour of Lights that takes place all through town.